Actually, you know, the Maori van bugger off

A village in New Zealand has banned a replica of Captain Cook’s ship from docking there to mark 250 years since the explorer’s arrival after an outcry from the local Māori community.

The vessel is part of a flotilla circumnavigating New Zealand next month for the Tuia 250 – a NZ$13.5m (£7m) series of events that “acknowledges the first onshore encounters between Māori and Pākehā in 1769-70”. It was due to visit Mangonui, in the North Island, but the stop was cancelled by the ministry of culture and heritage after complaints from indigenous figures.

Anahera Herbert-Graves, the head of Northland’s Ngāti Kahu iwi, or tribe, told RNZ: “He [Cook] was a barbarian. Wherever he went, like most people of the time of imperial expansion, there were murders, there were abductions, there were rapes, and just a lot of bad outcomes for the indigenous people.

“He didn’t discover anything down here, and we object to Tuia 250 using euphemisms like ‘encounters’ and ‘meetings’ to disguise what were actually invasions.”

Ask the Moriori about the behaviour of the Maori.

Well, quite, you don’t get to whinge bitterly just because you lost a particular encounter.

37 comments on “Actually, you know, the Maori van bugger off

  1. I sympathise, Imagine your first encounter with europeans being the ones who were impressed into the Navy.

  2. To a certain extent, I agree with the Maoris. After all, what did European influences ever do to make their lives easier? They should have been left to live peacefully together, without any murders, rapes, or other adverse actions, and shutting in the bushes, as they had done for many years. Is there a Maori word for irony?

  3. we object to Tuia 250 using euphemisms like ‘encounters’ and ‘meetings’ to disguise what were actually invasions.”

    Maybe they’d prefer to call it “migration”, or “diversity”?

  4. “In March, the Cook Islands considered changing its name to respect its indigenous heritage, with Avaiki Nui an early frontrunner. The name “must have a taste of our Christian faith, and a big say on our Māori heritage.”

    WTF has Christianity got to do with Maori heritage? Is there anything more colonial in its effect than Christianity?

  5. must have a taste of our Christian faith

    Better than a taste of manflesh, if you ask Steve.

    Is there anything more colonial in its effect than Christianity?

    Dunno, Jesus Christ wasn’t a European.

  6. Simon Jester

    “Isn’t Pākehā a derogatory term?”

    Not really. It just tend to be used by people who are not really worth listening too.

  7. Penseivat

    “To a certain extent, I agree with the Maoris. After all, what did European influences ever do to make their lives easier? ”

    It gave the Maori access to muskets and steel axes that allowed them to kill, enslave, and eat their enemies so much easier.

  8. Yes, remember seeing a BBC doco a few years ago with a British lecturer from the former Polytechnic of Somewhere Unfashionable standing in the middle of an African village. He was deploring the way that the evil British colonialists began clamping down on some of the indigenous cultures’ practices. It only later became clear than one of these lovely practices was cannibalism.
    There was, of course, no hint that not all of the British influence might have been evil.

  9. ‘Ask the Moriori about the behaviour of the Maori.’

    The coming of the White Man ended centuries of war in North America. The major tribes of American Indians didn’t get along with each other.

  10. @Gamecock

    Too true. My understanding is that the American Indians also invaded each others’ lands.

    When they talk about “giving lands back to the indians” it would just be a snapshot of who happened to be there when the white man arrived.

  11. “He [Cook] was a barbarian”
    He was trained by Quakers, he brought that influence with him on his expeditions, he aimed to treat all he encountered with civility and ensured his crew did also.
    Yes, other explorers were barbaric slaughterers, but Cook was exceptional in NOT being so. As a spiritual descendant, I’m insulted and demand apology.

  12. In four hours we’re discussing finalising travel plans for our twinning visit. Should I take this insult to the meeting as a consideration?

  13. Cook put pigs ashore on the South Island, a common trick in case you were later shipwrecked and fancied some pork. Since the Maori were largely hunter-gatherers on the edge of starvation (the subtropical crops and animals they’d brought from Polynesia all failed bar the kumara) the oinkers were like a gift from heaven.

    (That, by the way, was why cannibalism flourished in NZ. Lack of protein and fat.)

  14. Since Captain James Cook never invaded anywhere – he visited, took scientific observations and moved on – only The Grauniad would be stupid enough to publish such lies and expect to get away with it

  15. @AndrewC, Gamecock.
    Pretty well all the white incomers saw of the cultures of the Americas was what remained after a 95% fatal wave of disease had swept through them. You can imagine the sort of effects that might have had.
    At the end of the first millennium the largest city on the planet, by far, was in Central America

  16. Well, quite, you don’t get to whinge bitterly just because you lost a particular encounter.

    Clearly you do and you get your own way as well.

    It is about time we just started telling these people where to go. I’m fed up of our past being used against us but their past is well, just because.

  17. “we object to Tuia 250 using euphemisms like ‘encounters’ and ‘meetings’ to disguise what were actually invasions”

    Well presumably NZ prior to the arrival of the Europeans was hideously Maori, so the arrival of some ethnic diversity should be celebrated, no?

    What do you mean, it doesn’t work like that when white people go to brown people’s countries, only the other way around?

  18. He was trained by Quakers, he brought that influence with him on his expeditions, he aimed to treat all he encountered with civility…

    Unlike a certain blogger who claims Quaker connections. Civility is beyond him.

  19. Believe the Maori are pretty switched on I terms of controlling their culture and charging for rights to use images and designs, certainly I’ve seen them held up as an example that other indigenous groups might follow

  20. I’m a Whitby Town Councillor, and I’ve just come back from this week’s meeting, and there was a lot of grumbling annoyance at the attitude being shown by some – presumably a vocal minority – Maori.

  21. “Pretty well all the white incomers saw of the cultures of the Americas was what remained after a 95% fatal wave of disease had swept through them.”

    Yeah, them ‘Murrican Indians were real healthy until the white man came along. Pre-Columbian Americans had a life expectancy of 120 years.

    So even our diseases were better than theirs. Note that 95% of whites did not die from their diseases.

    Also note that the Plains Indians had little contact with whites til we had been here 350 years. West of the Mississippi to the Pacicfic coast was virtually unknown.

  22. It has been well established since the 1920s that the Moriori were Maori who moved to the Chatham Islands. Although they were indeed the victims in intertribal war, the idea that they were a separate group exterminated by the Maori was an invention heavily promoted in late 19th century New Zealand and on into the mid 20th century explicitly to justify any European misbehaviour against the Maori – ‘Oh, they were just as bad’. A Waitangi Treaty settlement was reached between the Maori and Moriori decades ago. Continuing to promote the line that the Moriori were a separate race killed by the Maori is regarded as racist these days.

  23. It’s all so tiresome. Treat Mr. Anahera Herbert-Graves the same way we should treat any indegenes who get similarly stroppy. Cut off their plumbing and electricty, withdraw access to banking services, tow his car, do not allow him to use medical service, etc. etc. etc…..

  24. Continuing to promote the line that the Moriori were a separate race killed by the Maori is regarded as racist these days.

    ========
    Don’t give a fertilizing damn what’s “considered racist” nowadays. Is it true, or not?

  25. @ widmerpool
    So Maori killing and eating Moriori doesn’t count as genocide and cannibalism because they were fairly distantly related – a bit over three centuries earlier so more distantly than the Bosnians were from the Serbs who acted genocidally?
    One rule for the white and one rule for the black.

  26. So the maori killing, enslaving and eating other maoris is “racist”.

    Are you stupid?

    They were much worse and hardly in any position to play the victim.

  27. @fnord No, it is not true.

    @john77 by definition killing your own people is not genocide. Cannibalism was not especially rare among Polynesians and the Maori also ate other Maori. Those cases are not held up as any evidence of anything, they are barely mentioned at all unless you visit one of the sites where it took place.

    In case it was not clear, the story that the Moriori were a separate race the Maori exterminated was promoted (taught in NZ schools) for decades after it was known not to be true (the Moriori were even described as physically different) explicitly as a justification for European crimes against Maori and to assert that the Maori were not the real indigenous people of NZ. It was literally said that the Maori had no grounds for complaint about European brutality because they had treated the ‘real’ indigenous people of NZ the same.

    It is not racist to say that the Maori were mostly warlike and aggressive and that they used European weapons to intensify their wars with each other. It is racist to suggest that because the Maori fought other Maori they deserved to be subjugated.

  28. “@john77 by definition killing your own people is not genocide.”

    Are Maori from one tribe the same as the Maori from the other tribe?

    “It is racist to suggest that because the Maori fought other Maori they deserved to be subjugated.”

    Is it just playing by their rules? They didn’t just fight each other, they freely enslaved and ate each other.

  29. @ widmerpool
    If the Moriori were forbidden to mate with their own race but had children by their Maori masters, the logical deduction is that the Maori were a different race.
    The Moriori were more different from the Maori than the Bosnians were from the Serbs but Srebenica counts as genocide.

  30. The Maori behaved badly. It is not racist to suggest they have no right to pretend to be victims.

    “By definition killing your own people is not genocide”

    According to this Cambodia never had a genocide.

  31. Same in America. The Navajo and Apache were at war for 300 years. Modern geneticists have discovered that they are THE SAME DAMN PEOPLE. Coming south from western Canada around 1500, settling in slightly different geographical locations.

    But, lest you think this odd, the Germans don’t get along with the French.

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