Imagine, if you will, that a savage murderer has been moving up the country, and he's heading your way. He seeks refuge in your large, rambling property (which you share with extended family). Instead of either handing him in or doing him in, you choose instead to join him in his savagery and plunder, heading out on expeditions of rapine and looting before coming home to hunker down in the least accessible parts of your refuge to fend off John Law, who naturally wants to put a stop to the lawlessness and brutality.
The law decides the safest option is to starve out you and your partner in crime, a strategy that meets with success.
Years later, the whole experience is reported thus by Herald reporter Yvonne Tahana:
In the 1860s, much of the tribe's land was confiscated and given to settlers. This was after British soldiers had burned crops, leaving people to starve.
Such is the way "the long history of strife behind Tuhoe claims" is reported in yesterday's Herald. The report does not deliver quite enough of that long history. It utterly ignores the primary reason that land was confiscated and people were starved, the reason fro which was that those people had chosen to harbour the murderer, Te Kooti, and to join him in his campaign of human destruction (I gave some of the history here the other day).
Reports like this is are historical context-dropping in the pursuit of injustice. To ignore the context for the burning of crops and the scorched earth policy is either mendacious, if intentional, or ignorant, if accidental. Either way, it's inexcusable, particularly when such context-dropping is used to justify scores of millions of taxpayers dollars heading towards the wallets of the descendants of those who helped harbour the thug Te Kooti all those years ago.
It seems the Herald simply doesn't do history -- but then neither does the Government, or the Waitangi Tribunal. A reporter might be excused for not knowing (or reporting) history accurately. A government and a government agency may not be, particularly when the government is represented by a person, Michael Cullen, whose doctorate is supposed to be in history.
Yesterday's 'historic' agreement with Tuhoe was a farce -- presaging a Waitangi deal with a tribe who never signed the Waitangi treaty, for an injustice that was anything but. A farce that is so richly symbolised in the historian, Cullen, who wants taxpayers to ignore history, rubbing noses with the thug Tame Iti, who wants tino rangatiratanga -- to be paid for out of taxpayers' pockets!
The only injustice perpetrated here is that being dealt to the taxpayers of New Zealand -- who once again will be forced to pay large amounts of money to tribalists for things we didn't do -- and to the tamariki of Tuhoe, who are being taught once again that tribalism and a focus on the imaginary grievances of the past will have a bigger payoff for them than will addressing and meeting the real challenges of the future and taking up the genuine opportunities of the present.
The whole damn thing is a disgrace.