Praise for Metiria

June 10th, 2013 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

Since I blogged on it weekend before last, there has been a lot of comment and criticism on of The Nation asking if she is a bitch to work for, and “How are you?”.  Rachel herself has said she didn’t write the questions, and felt a bit uncomfortable with them. Of course she could have refused and said I’m not going to ask any guest if they are a bitch, unless I can ask male guests if they are a prick.

Anyway Brian Edwards has blogged in defence of Smalley, and Green co-leader has responded:

I dont believe that the question Rachel Smalley asked of Hekia Parata: “How Maori are you”? was in anyway appropriate. I have a huge amount of respect for and have read his blog which justifies Rachel’s question on the basis that was relevant to “Parata’s childhood and upbringing in a Maori family and Maori community”; that it produced a revealing and relevant response; that she handled it well and hasn’t complained.

The last three justifications are meaningless. It makes no difference to the appropriateness of the question whether she answered well or not, whether she complained or not. As to whether it was relevant to Parata’s childhood, that issue was canvassed earlier in the interview and could have been discussed more without forcing Hekia to justify her identity.

Thats what I have a problem with: Hekia was required by the question to justify her identity. The criteria Hekia then applied to herself is the criteria Maori have been forced to use to justify ourselves for decades: blood (whakapapa), language and whanau. It is a question based on New Zealand’s assimilationist history, when the degree of a persons “Maoriness” led to more or less entitlement, when being judged as having abandoned our cultural practices and language, we were therefore more like Pakeha and so more acceptable.

It is a grotesque irony that these days Maori are asked that question so that their right to speak on Maori issues can be judged, mostly by Pakeha, as legitimate or not.

I don’t agree with most of the policies Metiria puts forward, but I do respect her for criticising TV3 for the interview, despite the fact the question was to a political rival. It’s nice to put principle ahead of politics.

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48 Responses to “Praise for Metiria”

  1. KiwiGreg (3,129 comments) says:

    “when the degree of a persons (sic) “Maoriness” led to more or less entitlement,”

    A question that still puzzles me today. Exactly what is this entitlement-obtaining degree of “Maoriness” and how is it measured?

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  2. Jack5 (4,216 comments) says:

    Meteria Turei writes:

    …criteria Maori have been forced to use to justify ourselves for decades: blood (whakapapa), language and whanau. …

    Not so. The emphasis on whakapapa, language, and whanau is championed by Maori, not “forced” on Maori by non-Maori.

    It’s Maori who apply the bloodline credentials. Maori TV reporters give details of the tribal ancestry of Maori as they discuss them. Sometimes they add European ancestry. For example, Joe X, Ngati-Awa, Irish.

    Ngai Tahu maintains a tribal record of those who can trace a modicum of Ngai Tahu ancestry. People with as little as one sixty-fourth Ngai Tahu ancestry may qualify as tribal members.

    The one-drop rule that white apartheidists applied in South Africa and white southerners applied in America’s Confederacy meant that if you has as little as a tiny trace of non-white ancestry you could be ruled non-white with all the disadvantages that went with that status.

    In NZ, Maori use the one-drop rule, not non-Maori. If you have even a trace of Maori ancestry you can be Maori. Ultimately, because or our intermarriage all NZers will have (mostly minor) Maori inheritance. Will they all identify as Maori? That’s highly unlikely.

    The occasional Canadian who lurks on Kiwiblog may tell us what the position is in Canada. I think that you have to be at least quarter indigenous to qualify as an indigenous person.

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  3. labrator (1,691 comments) says:

    I look forward to Smalley or Edwards asking Key how Jew he is.

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  4. kowtow (6,690 comments) says:

    Race is the new taboo.

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  5. GPT1 (2,042 comments) says:

    Your balance does you credit but I honestly could not give two hoots what she thinks particularly on manners. She is one of the rudest and most sanctimonious MPs in parliament and having her lecturing on what appropriate questions are is a bit like getting a course on humility from Aaron Gilmore.

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  6. Black with a Vengeance (1,552 comments) says:

    Metiria is class !

    …and its not about race, its about culture.

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  7. Komata (966 comments) says:

    Re: ‘…and its not about race, its about culture’.

    Would you care to elaborate? it sounds very, very interesting (a serious question BTW).

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  8. Albert_Ross (172 comments) says:

    Black with a vengeance – culture is a matter of individual choice. If Maori-ness is about culture, then I can choose to be Maori, even though I don’t have any Maori ancestry at all, in the same way as I’m free to adopt Islam, or feminism, even if my family’s not Muslim, or if I’m not a woman; and somebody born into a Maori family can choose not to be a Maori.

    Then: your choices are something that others are entitled to judge you for, in a way that the circumstances you are born to – for example, your colour, social background, sex and sexuality – are not. Further, insofar as society owes the individual any duty of support and assistance at all, that duty is stronger in the case of adverse circumstances that aren’t a result of your individual choice, than it is in the case of the consequences of the choices you made.

    So if Maori-ness is about culture, then Maoris shouldn’t be getting any form of differential treatment from the State. Is this what you are saying?

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  9. Black with a Vengeance (1,552 comments) says:

    Its about how much you identify with the culture and uphold its values rather than the percentage of “racial” blood you have that determines “how Maori you are”.

    Naturally, you gotta have at least one drop to then choose.

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  10. Bob R (1,250 comments) says:

    ***It is a grotesque irony that these days Maori are asked that question so that their right to speak on Maori issues can be judged, mostly by Pakeha, as legitimate or not.***

    Hold on, on the one hand Turei is saying “Maori are asked that question.” Well, presumably to identify as Maori in the first place they must be some concept or definition of what that means? And as someone noted above – it seems pretty standard for those of Maori descent to identify their particular whakapapa and tribal affiliation?

    That said, it seems like a pretty rude question. I wonder if they would have asked it if Hone Harawira was the guest?!

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  11. Komata (966 comments) says:

    BWAV

    Thank you for your reply. It was certainly interesting.

    Re: ‘Naturally, you gotta have at least one drop to then choose’.

    And do you?

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  12. Roflcopter (397 comments) says:

    “It is a grotesque irony that these days Maori are asked that question so that their right to speak on Maori issues can be judged, mostly by Pakeha, as legitimate or not.”

    That question is not mostly asked by Pakeha, it’s usually asked by Māori to Māori, or Māori of Pakeha whenever there’s a differing of opinion.

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  13. JC (838 comments) says:

    The “one drop of blood” rule or just simply identifying with the culture seems innocuous to Maori and others.. it also allows a non checked claim to be a little bit Maori to vote on the Maori roll.

    But situations change, what seems like a good idea to get as many people onto the Maori roll and into the Iwi records may not be such a good idea in the future when there’s more money and resources at stake.

    One day an Iwi might find their Maori MP is the National Party candidate and on another day that the one drop people have organised a class action for a full and equal share of the TOW settlement or that all profits get paid out to “all” the people.

    JC

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  14. The Scorned (719 comments) says:

    The biggest break on Maori aspiration is the dead weight cultural block around their ankles that is “Maori”.

    This collectivist anchor must be cut off and discarded if people of Maori heritage are to proper and thrive as human beings…

    Until Maoris regard themselves as individuals first…and a conjoined part of “Maori” a long distant second they will remain at the bottom of the heap…which they deserve as reality doesn’t reward loser behaviors…

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  15. Black with a Vengeance (1,552 comments) says:

    Re: ‘Naturally, you gotta have at least one drop to then choose’.

    And do you?

    Maori…No
    Samoan…yes

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  16. Komata (966 comments) says:

    BWAV

    Thank you for your reply – very enlightening.

    A further (serious) question.

    Do you believe that as a Samoan, with your own cultural mores, values etc, you can reasonably comment on the culture of other ethnic groups with whom you have no cultural identity,by virtue of never having ‘lived in their shoes/skin’ in the same way that (obviously) such groups could never adequately comment on Samoan culture as they have not been raised within it?

    Thanks.

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  17. Albert_Ross (172 comments) says:

    Thank you for the clarification, BWAV.

    Do you see any of your rights – ie, society’s obligations towards you as an individual – as depending on the use you choose to make of the option that your drop gives you?

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  18. Black with a Vengeance (1,552 comments) says:

    I have a shared cultural identity with Maori, upheld our shared values and have pretty much lived in their shoes and skin, so the answer is yes, more than reasonably.

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  19. Komata (966 comments) says:

    BWAV

    A very interesting answer. Thank you.

    You are aware presumably of how Maori view Pacificka and, of course, how you view your fellow ‘islanders’ from Nuie. Tonga, Raro etc, yet despite this still hold to your statement that you can identify ‘more than reasonably’ with Maori?

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  20. Black with a Vengeance (1,552 comments) says:

    Yes.

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  21. scrubone (2,971 comments) says:

    I’m not sure if I see that as principled. It’s phrased in the language of identity politics, not the language of common decency.

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  22. Komata (966 comments) says:

    BWAV

    Thank you, again an intereting answer, very enlightening. Based upon what you have said,

    Would you say that you can also ‘more than reasonably’ identify with New Zealand (note those words please) Palangi culture, by virtue of living within it and having a daily-interaction with it?

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  23. Black with a Vengeance (1,552 comments) says:

    Yes.

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  24. Komata (966 comments) says:

    BWAV

    Having read your replies, I would advance the hypothesis, that unless one is born into a particuar culture, it is unwise and inapproprite for a ‘guest’ of such a culture to offer comments about said culture that are likely to cause offence? By this I mean that if I went to Apia and made comments (ired my views) to all and sundry about the condition of various fale’ or Aggie Grey’s you would be highly (and rightly IMHO) be extremely offended at my comments, seeing them as an attack on ALL Samoan’s. Would you agree that your being offended woul be a reasonable and right thing to do?

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  25. Black with a Vengeance (1,552 comments) says:

    No.

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  26. Keeping Stock (9,788 comments) says:

    I’m in the same boat as you DPF. There aren’t many Green policies that I agree with, and I’m not a great fan of Ms Turei. But she deserves credit for going into bat for Hekia Parata, even though she dislikes the Minister in a political sense.

    The Nation crossed a line with the Smalley/Parata interview, and the least the show’s producers should do is acknowledge that and apologise.

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  27. big bruv (12,327 comments) says:

    “Metiria is class !”

    Like fuck she is!

    She is many things, when considering the ever expanding female co leader of the Greens “class” is not a descriptor that comes to easily to mind.

    If there is a one word answer to the question “what do you think of Metiria” it would be “Liar”. Come to think of it, there are other words that would do just as well, one could use “Communist”, “Vandal”, “Dictator”, “Unelected”, “Obese”, “Racist”, Stupid”, “Smug”, “Arrogant” or “Luddite”

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  28. Manolo (12,617 comments) says:

    Metiria is class !

    Satire of the highest order. Peeing of laughter.

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  29. Kea (10,451 comments) says:

    Maori AND a woman ! What a victim she must be. I am so glad everyone is rushing to defend the poor oppressed wee thing.

    Clearly there are a few white metrosexuals who have never had much to do with Maori women.

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  30. hj (5,674 comments) says:

    Meteria’s objection to the question is this:

    Thats what I have a problem with: Hekia was required by the question to justify her identity. The criteria Hekia then applied to herself is the criteria Maori have been forced to use to justify ourselves for decades: blood (whakapapa), language and whanau. It is a question based on New Zealand’s assimilationist history, when the degree of a persons “Maoriness” led to more or less entitlement, when being judged as having abandoned our cultural practices and language, we were therefore more like Pakeha and so more acceptable.

    It is a grotesque irony that these days Maori are asked that question so that their right to speak on Maori issues can be judged, mostly by Pakeha, as legitimate or not.

    What they argue is that culture is a matter of identity [not sure values are implied- that sounds like a clip on?] The real issue here is your right to grievances (and appropriateness of other behaviours) based on your chosen identity . After the first earthquake in Chch I heard Hanna Reagan giving “a Maori point of view” she said ” and my little boy said say a karakia(?) to the earthquake god.. . So I said a karakia..”" Meteria talks about Maori being kaitiaki and having a sacred duty. Apparently they fret if they can’t control the foreshore and seabed, lakes rivers.. and the Greens endorse a fundamental interpretation of the treaty which reflects the demographics of the time 2000 to 70,000. Naturally you have to add as much Maaori as possible into the void .

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  31. Black with a Vengeance (1,552 comments) says:

    Well I’m glad we cleared up my righteousness to speak vociferously on all things Kiwi/Palagi/Maori/Pasifikan without needing to worry about causing offence…:)

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  32. Kea (10,451 comments) says:

    Angry dark fella with a keyboard, yeah it is great ;)

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  33. Johnboy (13,342 comments) says:

    When you watch question time and see her sanctimonious look when she asks her stupid questions and then see her get owned by the National front bench then get the little aside from the sad look of Wussel in the camera.

    You realise she is only co-leader cause of her bone! :)

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  34. Black with a Vengeance (1,552 comments) says:

    Notice i tend not to coment on Muslim/Jewish/African/American issues as i have no buy in to their culture or values ?

    The world would be such a better place if everyone were like me and just stuck to what they know and minded their own bloody business. :)

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  35. hj (5,674 comments) says:

    “Maori values”
    Last GP election poster featured a Maori boy chest out, hands folded assertively. Behind him a very white (photo shopped) man and his family gaze into a stream.
    Pakeha values.
    No one owns the commons.

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  36. Kea (10,451 comments) says:

    Notice i tend not to coment on Muslim/Jewish/African/American issues as i have no buy in to their culture or values ?

    You are pretty quick to comment on the values of white Europeans and people from Taiwan, neither of which you know bugger all about.

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  37. Black with a Vengeance (1,552 comments) says:

    Can’t say i’ve ever commented on Taiwanese people. But being part white euro in a eurocentrist values based country does afford me the privilege to ocassionally tear y’all a new one.

    BTW thanks for that site you linked to yesterday. Asian albinos whitewashing your history made for great reading.

    http://realhistoryww.com/world_history/ancient/Dobruja_Thrace_1.htm#albino

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  38. wat dabney (3,434 comments) says:

    I dont believe that the question Rachel Smalley asked of Hekia Parata: “How Maori are you”? was in anyway appropriate.

    Such saintly words from a woman who has shamelessly made an entire career from identity politics.

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  39. Black with a Vengeance (1,552 comments) says:

    …like every white male who has shamelessly made an entire career from identity politics since day one of this countrys existence as a british colony…wat wat ol chap ?

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  40. Kea (10,451 comments) says:

    Darkie with delusions, you seem fixated on skin colour. Not sure what the white washing was about, but it sounds nice. Glad I could help.

    But being part white euro in a eurocentrist values based country does afford me the privilege to ocassionally tear y’all a new one.

    LOL… you are probably more European than I am my sooty coloured friend :)

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  41. nasska (9,489 comments) says:

    This will save you from having to think of a reply Polly. :)

    Ref: https://www.dropbox.com/s/dng2lrvpvbmg6u3/Libtards3.jpg

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  42. wat dabney (3,434 comments) says:

    Yes. Polly, mate, I’d stick to the “your mum” sort of riposte if I were you.

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  43. beautox (406 comments) says:

    The problem with the “one drop” situation is that you have folks here with a few drops of maori blood and 90-99% or more pakeha, yet they insist that pakeha must pay them for wrongs supposedly committed against their great great great great great grandparents. Yet some of, or even a majority of their ancestors may have been the very people that were committing the ‘crimes’ that they want us to pay for. The word I use for this is “hypocrisy”.

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  44. Alan Wilkinson (1,798 comments) says:

    Drivel, Metiria. As I’ve said before, genetically I am 100% English but I am not English. You are not 100% genetically Maori so why are you Maori?

    Perfectly legitimate question. To all Maori. And the answers will be different for everyone.

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  45. hj (5,674 comments) says:

    Greens more hard line than the Maori Party.
    ……

    Opponents of the legislation say the battle over the foreshore is not over with a promise from the Greens that it won’t let the foreshore and seabed issue die as it heads into the election campaign.

    “Greens co-leader Metiria Turei says the Maori Party has betrayed its supporters.

    “I’m very distressed about this, this should not have happened,” she says. “The Maori Party had the power to fix the 2004 legislation, to repeal it and to put in place a just outcome, and they chose not to.”

    Ms Turei is furious at the Maori Party.

    “We should repeal the racist law and restore access to the courts and genuine justice,” she says. “We’ll continue to hold the Maori Party to account for their role in allowing this legislation to pass.”
    http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/newsdetail1.asp?storyid=193090

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  46. hj (5,674 comments) says:

    “The Greens support responsible access to the foreshore, which is compatible with Customary Ownership governed by tikanga Maori and the concept of public domain.

    “The clearest example is Lake Taupo, where ownership of the lake bed rests with Maori but everyone enjoys recreational access.
    //
    The Green Party is appalled that environmental concerns have been ignored in the consultation proposal.

    “Responsible stewardship of our coasts is essential for a sustainable future,” said Metiria. “That’s something Maori have a major stake in. We want to make our coast the shared responsibility of all, for the private profit of none.”

    http://www.greens.org.nz/press-releases/denial-customary-rights-unacceptable-say-greens

    sounds like they want to have their cake and eat it?

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  47. dime (8,746 comments) says:

    “Its about how much you identify with the culture and uphold its values rather than the percentage of “racial” blood you have that determines “how Maori you are”.”

    lmao yeah thats because they are no full blooded maori left.

    lots of half casts. the stupid ones who also happen to be worthless human beings identify only with their maori half (think willie jackson). they forget that they have the blood of evil whitey flowing through their veins.

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  48. Black with a Vengeance (1,552 comments) says:

    Jeez you’re a fucking idiot, dime!

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