Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 36, Number 20. 29th August 1973
Language and Culture
The Maori language can be regarded as a vern acular language. It is not a pidgin language. Why? Because it is the indigenous language of New Zealand spoken by many as a first language; whereas a pidgin language is not an indigenous one. Pidgin language is formed by the mixing up of two or more languages within an area. It is no one s first language. One country in which Pidgin English is widely used is New Guinea. It seems to me that it is due to the fact that the local peoples in order to combat the intrusion of the English language, much preferred at the time a language of their own manufacture. They were not too happy about the Australian introduction of colonisation. Their pidgin English was a compromise, and it has become very popular. When pidgin English is adopted in New Guinea as the first language of some children it could be called a creole language.
How can Maori as a vernacular language justify its existence from a Sociolinguistic point of view? And in relationship to English, which is the standard and the second language in New Zealand? Historically, due to British colonisation, the Maori language suffered a terrible setback during the second half of the nineteenth century. There was to be only one language in New Zealand, and that was the English language. It is a hundred years since this policy was initiated, and the Maori language is still persisting. This year 1973, there is a greater upsurge among the Maori and the Pakeha people of interest in the perpetuation of the Maori language by its introduction into the primary schools as well as in the Secondary and Universities. A great chief who died in Wellington recently had said while he was still alive: "My Maori language is of highest importance to me. I firmly believe it is a treasure given to me or any Maori as a wonderful gift from God." Here in these words some Sociolinguistic aspects can be clearly observed. His Maori language was sacred to him, and so he expresses his loyalty and pride in it. It was a traditional language it was a language of prestige, of mana and of mauriora (life-principle). Dare anyone take it away from him even in these modern days! As a Maori, I also hold these aspects and concepts very dearly.
The question is asked, can the Maori language survive for any length of time? To me, the answer is yes. But how? It must, from a Sociolinguistic point of view, keep in step with the English language. Sociolinguistics is the study of the relationship between the structure of language and its use in a social and cultural context. It deals with the full relationship between language and society.
First of all, let me discuss the language part of our New Zealand society, to try and weave it into that society. There are two languages in use in New Zealand society: the Maori vernacular language and the English standard language. Let us look briefly at the vocabulary, the lexicon. Yes, Maori in the modern setting is lacking in technical and technological terms. Some of the major languages of the world lack technical terms. They have had to borrow, and have been borrowing for some time. English itself has had to borrow many words in the past from Latin and Greek. If it had not borrowed it would not have survived to this day. Since all Americans speak English, and the populations of the British Isles, and most of the Commonwealth of Nations, it certainly appears to be a formidable language today even alongside Mandarin and Russian. Maori today is borrowing quite a, few words from English, even in everyday uses. For example, the words machine (mihini), party (paati), beer (pia), hotel (hotera), Karaitiana (Christian) Ingarangi (England), Scotland (Kotarani), Irish (Airihi) and so on.
Just as there are different varieties of English, Arabic and French, so there are different varieties of Maori just as there is classical Arabic and colloquial Arabic, so there is classical Maori and colloquial Maori. Classical Maori is most appropriate for ceremonial purposes on the marae: colloquial Maori is used for more everyday conversational purposes.
So we see that the Maori language is worthy of study from a linguistic and sociolinguistic point of view. And perhaps research will contribute to the mana or prestige of our language and encourage the pride and loyalty it will need to survive in New Zealand society'.
—Hemi Pota tau
Union Films Psychological Drama Festival
Union Films presents six classic psychological drama films to chill your blood. Three days of concentrated nerve twitching terror!!!
|Tues, Sept 4 2pm:||"Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde" Stcvensons classic horror story brought to life by a fine cast.|
|Tues, Sept 4 8pm:||"Repulsion" Catherine Deneuve in Polanski's suspense thriller.|
|Wed, Sept 5 2pm:||"Country Girl" A dynamic drama on a similar theme to "Baby Jane".|
|Wed, Sept 5 8pm:||"Cul de Sac". An off beat comedy drama.|
|Thurs, Sept 6 2pm:||"Lord of the Flies" William Golding's novel about how easily the thin veneer of civilisation slips from us all.|
|Thurs, Sept 6 8pm:||"Seconds" Rock Hudson stars as a middle aged business man who discovers an organisation who offer him a "second" chance at life — and there the nightmare be- gins!|
As you know, NZUSA has decided to with draw its sponsorship of the Lorraine Rothman visit due to the apparent misgivings of certain males led by Peter Wilson. I have seen no explan ation of why these people including Mr Wilson thought that the tour was not worth supporting any longer. It has the support of all the female representatives on NZUSA plus feminist groups throughout the constituent universities of NZUSA apparently though this is not sufficient. Many feminists share the same political view's as Mr Wilson that is, are socialists and some like myself, consider themselves Maoists as at the moment China has policies which recognise the rights of women to a much greater extent than most other countries be they socialist or imperialist/capital ist. Apparently this same recognition of women's rights is not evident by many Maoists in New' Zealand. As usual women in the New Zealand Left have to suffer from the reactionary views of males on women's issues. One would have not expected better from the RSA but surely the NZUSA would be slightly less reactionary.
Ms Jill Basher,c/o UCSA University of Canterbury, Private Bag Christchurch.
Cultural Exhibition Hides Exploitation
The article on Malaysia in Salient No. 19 was a very' rigorous expose of the social and political inequality which exists in Malaysia today. The need to radically alter the structures in that society which generate such inequality emerged as the main message of the article.
It is unfortunate that the same cannot be said of the Cultural Exhibition turned on by the Malaysian Students' Association over the August holidays. Photos of huge expensive buildings were displayed as evidence of social progress. Yet in the context of the poverty and backwardness which the Salient article described, such conspicuous expenditure is not to be applauded. Rather, it is to be condemned. It is to be classed alongside the spending of ex-President Sukarno of Indonesia who promoted similar kinds of projects in order to obscure the lack of real development in Indonesia.
Also on display were expensive ornaments, photos of Westernised Malay girls representing not cultural identity but cultural imperialism. Finally there were glossy tourist-type handouts on idyllic Malaysia and posters declaring the proud national unity of Malaysia. Yet nowhere in all of this did I see anything around which the workers and peasants of Malaysia could possibly unite. Nowhere was it pointed out that yields on capital invested in Malaysia are higher than in any other country in the world. Nor were the implications of this for the life and culture of those who create such wealth in Malaysia — the workers and peasants — even hinted at.
The Malaysian Students' Association thus did a grave disservice to those who attended this Exhibition. In so doing it also demonstrated its total lack of allegiance to the ordinary people of Malaysia. It is only to be hoped that those who wish to understand Malaysian society will re-read the Salient article and not be drawn in at the superficial and elitist level of communication which MSA seems eager to promote through such 'exhibitions'.
MSSA will not disband!
We are informed that rumours have been circulating within the precincts of this University during the past weeks to the effect that the present executive committee of the Malaysia—Singapore Students' Association is seeking for a dissolution of the Association during the forthcoming Annual General Meeting scheduled to be held during the second week of September. In this respect, might we point out that such rumours are utterly false, 'damn lies' to quote a little bird, and that such rumours are being perpetuated by dirty, fascist, arse-licking scum, seeking to destroy the Association and all it stands for.
Might we reiterate, that the MSSA will certainly seek to continue its existence within the University for many years to come and that the Association will under no circumstances bend to the will of bigoted politicians or seek in any way to perpetuate the kind of suffocating, communal and fascist politics which forms so much a part of the scene in the countries represented by the Association.
The Association will, in this respect, continue to uphold the aims of the Association as laid down in its Constitution, 'to promote closer relations, understanding and co-operation among members of the Association' and 'to foster friendly relations and mutual understanding with the people of New Zealand' to name a few.
The Committee, Malaysia-Singapore Students Association.
An Overseas Exchange
I was quite amused to read Peter Franks' cavalier comments about the budgetary incent ives to help New Zealand firms engaged in the "export of technology' and skills" obtain over seas contracts. To say that firms like ENEX are denying Indonesians the opportunity to develop their country according to their criteria and needs, is manifest nonsense. Indeed it is becom ing increasingly apparent that, ideologically, commercial participation of such selective nature would be more acceptable to developing countries than multi-lateral assistance with its concomi tant institutionalism. The projects with which ENEX is associated, are chosen by the Indonesian Government on the basis of pre-determined criteria such as generation of employment appointments and domestic production. To this extent criticism of their activities ought to be related to their actual role in achieving these defined objectives, and it is clear that Mr Franks' comments are not based on such an appraisal.
Behind Nuclear Control
When the Dominion of Thursday July 28 carried a brief report on the arrival of an American Trade Unionist, it was shown exactly what the current nuclear test issue was all about. "Leave Bombs to the Big Boys" was the headline attached by the Dominion to a story about an official of the Postal Telegraph and Telephone International (PTTI) workers' organisation who thinks it is quite unnecessary for France to have nuclear weapons. What need does France have for nuclear weaponry when the United States and the Soviet Union have enough to blow the rest of the world apart if they want to?
This of course is a very popular attitude at the moment, in one form or another. Such an expression from an American is not altogether surprising, but we see more or less the same line being taken by Norm Kirk and Barry Mitcalfe in New Zealand, Gough Whitlam in Australia, and by most trade unionists in capitalist countries. They all say what a marvellous thing it is that Norm with the backing of the New Zealand people has sent a frigate out into the Pacific to fight for liberty and humanity and all the rest of it.
The most important point to realise about all this is that it is entirely fraudulent. As the American trade unionist so carefully reminds us, as long as the United States and the Soviet Union have the bomb, who else needs it. While these two countries alone have vast stocks of nuclear armaments (Britain also has them, but not in significant quantities), they are capable of dividing up the world between them. There is an imperialist hegemony of nuclear control, where the most powerful weapons in the world are being held by the two most dangerous owners. United States imperialism and Soviet social imperialism. That is why we should surely be pleased at the prospect of both China and France developing nuclear weapons for themselves!
This makes quite obvious the reasons for the opposition to French tests by the American trade union official. American trade unions are notorious for their subservience to capitalism, and hence to find a prominent trade unionist supporting such an imperialist division of the world is only to be expected. It ties in well with the recent visit of Brezhnev to the United States, and is an attitude reminiscent of that of the fifteenth century pope who divided the world between Spain and Portugal.
It is now becoming plainer exactly what the role of our New Zealand and Australian Prime Ministers is in all this. Perhaps you noticed that they sent formal diplomatic protests to both China and France on the occasion of recent nuclear tests conducted by those countries. It is yet another instance of Labour governments giving support to foreign imperialism. (Look how Kirk is opening New Zealand up to the Japanese over the beech forests issue.) And all the trade unionists in the capitalist countries follow suit with their complaints as Tom Skinner and Bob Hawke tell them to. Trade unionism is essentially a spontaneous response of workers to industrial society, and so all our good capitalist trade unionists mechanically protest at bomb tests as an automatic response to an enviromental issue. As in so many similar cases, a more considered analysis of what their position ought to be might lead to a different conclusion.
But do not get the idea from this that it is a good thing for as many people as possible to have nuclear weapons. The ideal thing would be for all stockpiles of nuclear weapons to be destroyed. This is the answer to problems of maintaining world peace and preventing nuclear pollution. This is what is advocated by the People s Republic of China. But in the meantime we must not be misled by any thoughts of Dr Strange-love. The more countries that have nuclear arms, the more difficult it will be to use them. We must beware of Norm Kirk's apologies for imperialism, and recognise French nuclear tests as a positive move, and not as a regressive course of action!
The NZ Revolution
Your correspondent, "ex Party Member", Salient 36/18 July 26, obviously does not like the "Peoples Voice". It is also obvious that as he was a Party member sometime during the period 1945-1970, he must bear some, if not considerable responsibility for the alleged decline in sales of the "Peoples Voice" which he asserts took place in that period.
It would appear that he is one of the Bailey- Manson group which parted company with the Communist Party of New Zealand in 1970. He now asks on what grounds our Party can claim to be Marxist-Leninist. He thereby implies his own qualifications in this philosophical field. He goes on to misquote Lenin's definition of New Zealand as a social democratic paradise and adds that the conditions described by Lenin still apply. In making this assertion, he shows himself to be, not a Marxist-Leninist, but a dogmatist, for conditions have quite clearly changed radically since Lenin wrote thus about New Zealand. The world in which NZ exists has also changed to the point where, to quote Mao Tse Tung, "Revolution has become the main trend in the world today".
But "ex-Party Member" describes as bufoonery the need to build a force capable of seizing State power when set forth in the "Peoples Voice". By this jibe he denies the revolutionary potential of our class. He thereby serves his masters well, for this is exactly what the rulers of New Zealand wish all workers to believe.
Lenin, in his book "What is to be Done?" makes a devastating attack on the theory of spontaneity but "ex Party Member" is basing his attack on the CPNZ and the "Peoples Voice" precisely on this theory. This is clear when he says, apparently in all sincerity, "conditions in our country are not those to produce a vigorous Marxist-Leninist Party". Is it not clear that in making this claim he sees "conditions" exercising the decisive role, but leaves out of his consideration of these "conditions" the interaction of classes and parties in changing these conditions? Yet I suppose he still considers himself a Marxist- Leninist. It is apparent that he does, in fact, make strenuous efforts to deprive this philosophy of its revolutionary character. He thereby reveals himself as a thorough-going revisionist.
The "Peoples Voice" on the other hand fulfills Lenin's behest that "he who forgets that 'the communists support every revolutionary movement/ that we are obliged for that reason to expound and emphasise general democratic tasks before the whole people, without for a moment concealing our socialistic convictions is not a Social-Democrat." (In today's setting read a "Communist'") Set out in "What is to be Done?" p. 102, Selected Works, Volume 2. Lawrence and Wishart.
Now, Lest Auld's acquaintance be forgot, I remain,
Dev's Dialectics Doubted
From both the end-piece to Mr Devereux's letter and conversations with him as we sold our respective papers in Cuba Mall last Friday night, I have concluded that I am thought by him to be the author of the letter signed "Ex- Party Member" which appeared in Salient. As I am not the author of that letter, I would like to make these comments which arise from Mr Devereux's letter.
|(i)||I was not a member of the Communist Party in the period 1945-1970 and so do not qualify for the jibe that I contributed to the very real decline of the People 's Voice and the CPNZ. Mr Devereux would be better advised to look to his present leaders, almost all of whom have held their positions for many years.|
|(ii)||A Manson-Bailey gang exists nowhere except in the columns of the People's Voice and the otherwise sterile imaginations of the national leadership of the CPNZ, Mr Devereux and his alter-ego Mr N Wright. [unclear: Moover], I do not draw my political inspiration from either Jack Manson or Rona Bailey — as anyone with any real contact with the left movement in Wellington well knows. An oddity: Mr N Wright announced the demise of this non-existent gang in the People's Voice some months ago, so how have Mr Devereux's misleaders come to the conclusion that it is the driving force behind The Paper? - that puzzles me.|
|(iii)||I resent the implication that I am so craven as to hide my views of the CPNZ (or anything else for that matter) behind the curtain of anonymity. As Mr Devereux may well recall, we held a short correspondence in these columns last year. I do not conceal my views and aims.|
|(iv)||As an aspiring Marxist of Scottish descent I resent Mr Devereux's distortions of both Marx- ism-Leninism and Robert Bums.|
T. S. Auld
Give us a fair go, mate
it seems to men that the Salient is yet another very bias local rag. You talk of all the persecuted groups in society - take you prejudiced account of China and Rhodesia in your last few issues, you talk of womans liberation, and so on. Little do the people realise however that the paper carries on its own form of sinister persecution — it persecutes the Trotskyists' — about which you explain little truth, you persecute the Christians, you persecute the conservative forces within the country and so on.
You claim to be an impartial, liberal paper and yet while you detest affairs in Indo-China you ridicle the Christians.
Certainly, your paper cannot satisfy everyone, but it contributes little if anything to the now 'suppressed minority' on the campus — the Christians — the non-radical stirrers and so on. The paper is now becoming nothing else but a rag for filthy jokes and for impartial radical idiots who use the 'Salient' as a 'bandwagon' to jump on and shout forth their biased unfounded subversive ideas.
Certainly, do not censor all this, but on the other hand let the other groups also have a fair go. You may well find the paper becoming more popular and people becoming less critical of it.
It would be interesting to see the 'editors' views on this — no doubt denying the whole process.
Yous, Hugh Buchanan
[We have never claimed that Salient is "an impartial, liberal paper". Your faulty logic is only surpassed by your spelling and grammar which we have left unchanged as a tribute to New Zealand's crapped out education system.—Eds.]
Dear Salient Editors,
Allow me to express my disgust over the unsophisticated piece of 'joke' (if it was meant to be) which appeared on Vol 36 No 18 (26/7/73) Salient issue. I am of course referring to "Abraham begat Issac and God said, 'stop fucking around."
Surely as an University Students' newspaper, a certain degree of religious responsibility should be upheld. Any joke reflecting on any aspect of religious beliefs is therefore not welcomed.
If God really said, "stop fucking around," I doubt you guys up in Salient office will still exist at all.
Dave,Pol. Science Student.
I feel the time is long past when we can calmly accept the presence of dogs at Victoria University. I am, you will understand, no dog hater. Indeed there is nothing I enjoy more than sharing my lunch with a member of the species, a pleasure I have had several times this year, in the cafeteria. (Cafeteria meals incidentally might be successfully marketed as a new line of dog food.)
Nor do I strongly object to chewed up lecture notes, (passing or failing exams is of little importance to me). I am a person of some liberal opinion and find the public acts of canine copulation more interesting than offensive, and the generous servings of dogshit around the place more offensive than intolerable. These things are understandable and even acceptable.
Some things are however not to be endured. An incident of late may indicate the seriousness of the situation.
I arrived at University hot, tired, breathless, exhausted and sweating (praise God for the fortunate location of the place) and entered the Union building. I was greeted with great enthusiasm by a 14ft alsation who happily eased my load a little by gobbling up my bag, alas giving me little chance to remove my hand and arm from it beforehand. (It wasn't overly important. Being left-handed I don't need my right arm that much anyway). On entering the cafeteria I lost my right leg to a splendid Afghan. (My fault entirely, I tried to duck in before him at the queue.) It was however the grotesque sight of a beaming bulldog ( they have an utterly hideous smile) devouring the remains of a once close now rather distant friend that rather disgusted me. I returned home trembling with shock, fear, and nausea and refuse to return until this serious situation is remedied.
Yours B. Landy.
I am utterly apalled at the amount of apathy present on campus. Although this state of affairs is constantly being lamented by radicals, liberals, jesus-freaks, and even on occasions by students themselves, little is actually done to ease the problem.
The obvious first step in solving the problem is to determine who is responsible for It. To anyone not too blinded by dogmatic fog, the fault clearly lies in the main, with the following groups of people.
1) Commerce students; 2) Law students; 3) Asian students.
The first two groups are clearly of little constructive use at a university and would obviously have their needs better fulfilled at a Polytech. The third group who comprise perhaps the most insidiously apathetic portions of the first two groups clearly act as an anchor to all attempts of the university to make progress in any direction and would be of more use to their families planting rice back in Asia. A further advantage of the forced march home of Asians would be the expulsion of the current Overseas Officer, perhaps the single-most offensive individual on campus, not excepting David Tripe.
The problem has been known for some time, the answer is now upon us. We have only to put the suggested steps into action to achieve a truly stimulating creative, aroused, bubbling campus.
A. Rimbaud.(Rabble Against Tyrannical Society.)
Cinderella and the Chickenhawk
Janet Holmes (Salient, August 2) finds that fillies, kittens, birds, sluts and ladies feel very unequal in the company of studs, tigers, hawks, gigilos and gentlemen. I guess she's right. Woman puts her man on a pedestal, expects him to be strong, virile, witty and wise, the provider, initiator and leader. The poor guy trembles inwardly, knows that he's not the last of the great lovers, and doesn't want to go the way of Macbeth. What can he do in a bind like this? Kick her in the head. An act of kindness, otherwise known as the Cinderella syndrome.
Conviction for "Thought Crime"
I would like to bring to the attention of the readers the plight of one Tony Mansfield convicted (about August 8) and sentenced to 3½ years imprisonment. Not only was the conviction extraordinary considering the merits of the case but it has political overtones as Tony has been an activist in Wellington, Dunedin and Christchurch over the past three years. From the Dominions report and Tony's account he sold an undercover policeman David Keith Wylie a segment of blotting paper containing Easter egg paint for $28 and offered to supply 'LSD' valued at $100. Tony's defence was that he was aware that the individual was a police agent and went through with the transaction in order to expose him. Knowing Tony personally I am convinced that if he was to sell LSD (heaven forbid) he would not sell Easter egg paint to gullible hippies for a quick buck which is the way the Judge interpreted the events. The jury found Tony not guilty of false pretences in that he offered LSD and sold vegetable dye, so that the option was left open to convict Tony for selling the dye while he was under the impression it was LSD.
The jury/judge were not prepared to accept the exposure of the police agent as being deliberate and much preferred to remove Tony from public life for a period of 3½ years.
The police's eagerness to obtain a conviction on the imprisonable offence is not surprising when considering Tony's past radicalism. He and his girlfriend managed Resistance in Wellington for most of 1971. In that year he was convicted for offences during Vietnam demonstrations. In the 1970—71 period he was convicted of inciting demonstrators at Mt John.
We have not yet heard whether he intends to appeal, however at the age of 19 and his wife looking after their baby imprisonment tor that period of time would appear to be a gloomy prospect. The fact that a person can be imprisoned for suggestion of intent even when that intent involved vegetable dye is a warning of the extent to which various 'thought crimes' in the field of drugs and demonstrations (viz Owen Wilkes conviction) are being increasingly used as mechanisms of social control.
If you wish to know more about the case or can offer advice and assistance in publicising it or pressing for an appeal contact: Counterculture, Box 6076, Dunedin or Wellington Resistance.
Richard Suggate,Wellington Resistance.
A Question of Colour
What do you think was the purpose for God to make people with different shades of skin colour? If we all were alike in this one respect, a lot of our problems in living would have been absent today.