Why we don’t celebrate Waitangi Day

5 February 2018 Northern Advocate Photograph by John Stone.

For all the smug newsreaders prattling on about the marvellous Waitangi celebrations this week, a newspaper reports on what Mike Hosking has put into the words that many of us also endorse. It?s time to speak up. Quote

?It’s not really our national day, it’s our grievance day. And not even a national grievance day, because the vast majority of us don’t actually have a grievance. The vast, vast majority of us love our lives, love our country, feel blessed to be here, and understand just how lucky we are.? End of quote.

Mike Hosking

Thanks Mike, you summed up why I didn?t celebrate Waitangi Day.  When ?Waitangi Grievance Day? turns into ?Waitangi Celebration Day? more of us will happily celebrate it.

Maori are still aggrieved after 30 years of us dishing out dough. The money hasn?t reduced poverty, or even made them happy.  It has simply made them scream for more.  Could this be the lotto effect where ?easy come money? 10 years later has become ?easy go money?? Maori are still poor, jobless, overweight and sick with a lower life expectancy than their paler compatriots. I would dearly love for that to change but, decades later, billions of dollars paid out on top of social services has not made a significant improvement.

The divide between Maori and non-Maori is getting wider with the prime minister and government fanning the flames of Maori discontent.  A bridge can not be built to a moving target of Iwi who keep stepping away and demanding more.

Stepping back in time herself at Waitangi this year, Ardern made exactly the same promise that she did last year. Quote.

Last year Ms Ardern used her speech from the porch of Te Whare R?nanga, an honour women aren’t usually allowed, to declare the government had failed M?ori in the justice system and would do better.? End of quote.

Radio NZ

Ardern’s promise was not kept because, short of releasing criminals into the community, it is not within Ardern?s power to keep it.  It is Maori who need to take responsibility for their feckless youth and miscreants. Quote.

Ms Ardern acknowledged it had been a year since she made big promises.

“And yet the distance between us is still too high, we have more to do.”

She made promises to reduce M?ori incarceration rates, and this year defended her government’s record on that upon arriving at Waitangi.

“I stood before you and said that we wanted the prison numbers to go down, and they have. There are fewer M?ori in prison now than when we came into government,” she said.? E

end of quote

Ardern is not correct. Using NZ Statistics figures at September 2017 Maori prisoners made up 50.7% of the prison population. In September 2018 Maori prisoners made up 51.0%.  That’s an increase which might actually be understated because judges have been sentencing more prisoners to home detention in the last year. How does she get away with it?

Ardern does Maori a huge injustice and will continue to do so until she raises her expectations of them. Maori also need to accept their place in the ranks of the general population instead of demanding and getting special attention. Unless the path toward Maori sovereignty is halted, this could end horribly.

We need to get behind the majority of Maori who live productive and peaceful lives and stand with them against the rabid loudmouth zealots who would throw the majority to the wolves for their own selfish moment in the sun – and a bag full of money. If that ever happens then we will all have something to celebrate.