A response to Maui Street

Morgan Godfery at Maui Street has taken offence at my post on the taniwha, and has done a response titled “David fucking Farrar”. Rather disappointing that he feels the need to engage in personal abuse, as I had previously quite rated his insights into Maori politics.

In the hope he might actually want to debate the issues, I’m going to respond to his post.

I do not know what Farrar is trying to achieve here. My take is that he is patronising Maori culture.

No it isn’t. I am a supporter of Maori culture. I think Maori TV does (for example) an excellent job and am happy as a taxpayer to help fund it because I recognise the value of our indigenous culture.

However that does not mean I won’t take the mickey if someone uses a cultural myth to try and hold up a road or rail project.

Let me do an analogy. I also have a deep appreciation for Irish culture. But if someone tried to stop or delay a rail project because they said a leprechaun lived in the route, then I’d mock them also. And if a Catholic priest got up and said you can’t build a road here because the Holy Spirit actually lives on the proposed route, I’d mock them – or suggest they be referred for psychiatric treatment.

“A huge amount of koha”. Is that implying Maori can be pacified with hand-outs? Or that Maori are greedy and prone to accepting donations.

Not Maori as a group. I don’t tend to generalise about a group. What I was saying is those who try to stop or delay a project by claiming a taniwha is in the route probably will drop their objections in return for a monetary settlement. I can’t think of two many other reasons someone would claim a taniwha lives in the way of a road or rail route.

“Once the tunnel is built, they could do a side tunnel for him, so he can play safely away from the trains”. Is that implying that the concept of a Taniwha is childish?

No that is me implying that the notion of a Taniwha as a physical creature is silly.

New Zealanders love to take the piss out of other cultures, as if their culture is the be all and end all. It is perfectly acceptable if David and his mates do not accept the concept of Taniwha, that’s there call and a fair one, but it is rude, disrespectful and borderline racist to go around disparaging other cultural beliefs. It is the worst sort of arrogance.

Nonsense. Would I be racist against the Scottish if I do not accept Nessie exists? Am I racist against the Welsh because I don’t believe in Welsh dragons?

I think it is a good thing if our museums and history books record the historic belief in Taniwhas, and their historical significance. I am fine with even teaching some of these historical myths and beliefs. But what I am not fine with is people trying to use these myths to hold up construction of rail and road projects.

Personally I think Morgan should be angry at those who do use Taniwha in an inappropriate context, as it is their actions which generate a backlash against Maori culture and historic beliefs.

The implication I get from David’s post is that Maori are ignorant and childish.

Not at all. I suspect the vast majority of Maori probably agree with me that using Taniwha as a device to delay a rail or road project is stupid.

Let me make it quite clear – my beef is only with the individual who claimed the Taniwha lived in the route of the CBD rail loop.

All I have to say to the commenters at Kiwiblog is get fucked. Go and die. As for David – you’re just a disappointment. Fomenting happy mischief? Get real. Fomenting hate. That sounds more accurate.

Urging people to kill themselves because you don’t like their views. I’m starting to understand why Morgan is such a fan of Hone Harawira.

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