Pita Sharples has declared that Monday's "police raids" have "set race relations in New Zealand back one-hundred years."
He says that like it's a bad thing.
Let's be honest: setting race relations "back" to where they were one-hundred years ago would be a step backwards only in time -- in many ways it would be a step forward in every other way.
One-hundred years ago race relations were in many ways superior to what they are now, and Maoridom had leaders of the likes of Apirana Ngata and Peter Buck and Maui Pomare-- true Renaissance Men who, in being respectful of the advantages of western culture and fully aware of the boons it brought, were head and shoulders above today's irrational worshippers of stone age culture and tribalism.
Unlike today's anti-colonial apologists for hatred and violence, Pomare, Buck and Ngata and their his colleagues in the Young Maori Party (which flourished in the early years of last century) advocated embracing the best of western technology, education and culture, which they saw as no threat to Maori cultural identity. According to Michael King, both Buck and Pomare believed "that the Pakeha and Western culture were to be permanent features of New Zealand life, and that the most promising future for the Maori lay in progressive adoption of Western practices, institutions and technology ... They also called for a strong degree of individualism in Maori life and the adoption of [a western] work ethic."
In his annual report for 1906, Buck argued that the time for tribalism was over: "The [Maori] communism of the past meant industry, training in arms, good physique, the sharing of the tribal burden, and the preservation of life. It was a factor in the evolution of the race. The communism of today means indolence, sloth, decay of racial vigour, the crushing of individual effort, the spreading of introduced infectious diseases and the many evils that are petrifying the Maori and preventing his advance."
Apirana Ngata too counselled Maori away from communalism towards individual responsibility; like Buck he promoted the value of western culture and education, and he warned that "welfare would be the downfall" of his people. “Look to the sun," he told Maori, "and the shadows will [be] behind you.” Writing a tribute to his old school Te Aute College, which had been instrumental in the formation of the Young Maori Party, Peter Buck observed, "We no longer have the fear of a dying race, but the great increase in the Maori race raises new problems that have to be met by sane leadership."
He was to be disappointed. Maori leadership instead became diverted by a century of Marxism and of Maoist posturing; a culture in permanent grievance mode, forever looking backward to yesterday and never towards the sunrise of a new day. Instead of sane leadership we see "professional Maoris" of the likes of Sharples and Iti and Turia and Annette Sykes for whom their race is a meal ticket and who virtually live in the shadows of the past, preferring to ride their grievance gravy train and take it and Maoridom with them to a misbegotten stone age.
If the recent raids do anything to destroy the credibility of the likes of Maori activists such as these, to show the true nature of the likes of Iti and Sykes and their fellow comrades and empower some modern-day Renaissance Men of the likes Maoridom enjoyed one-hundred years ago, then that would be a very good thing.
UPDATE: Sharples also joins his c0-leader Tariana Turia in rewriting history. Turia was rightly excoriated a few years back for talking about a non-existent "holocaust" in Taranaki, and Sharples now invokes equally fictional "atrocities committed at Parihaka -- "atrocities" which are no less mythical than the the idea that Iti is a man anything like Te Whiti. The fact is, as I'm sure Sharples knows, there were no atrocities, no killing, no Taranaki "holocaust" -- these exist only in the fevered rhetoric of these shadow dwellers.
Ironically, the other figure Sharples invokes is Te Kooti: while Sharples' claims of atrocity at Parihaka are made up from whole cloth, in declaring his admiration for Te Kooti he shows his reverence for a man who really did carry out atrocities -- hardly helping claims for Iti's peaceful intent.
In fact, it's instructive that while Ngata, Pomare and Buck are considered sell outs by today's Maori leaders, vicious murderers like Te Kooti are still revered, and stories of "atrocity" against Maori are still so calmly manufactured. It is indeed a measure of the distance we've travelled since the days of those three Renaissance Men.