Saturday, October 20, 2012

A rare day

It's not often that we are in agreement with Winston Peters. But yesterday was one of those days, as Winston Peters spoke out over the death of the Kahui twins, and over the role of Maori; Barry Soper reports (with our emphasis added):

New Zealand First Winston Peters is blaming all Maori for the killing of the Kahui twins.
Police have decided not to pursue any further charges over the deaths of the three-month-olds.
Coroner Garry Evans said their injuries were inflicted while they were in the care of their father Chris, but he was acquitted on murder charges.
His lawyer Lorraine Smith says Mr Kahui can now get on with his life, saying he'll never get over his twins' deaths.
Mr Peters says the whole of Maoridom should be bowing its head in shame.
"That's a serious blight on Maoridom and we have to own up to it. The cone of silence around it led to a lot of uncertainty as to what the evidential facts were and Maoridom's got to take initiative of that and say 'this cannot be allowed to go on in the future'." 

A shocking rate of child abuse is not unique to Maori, but there is no argument that Maori are more highly represented in abuse statistics.

And Winston Peters is quite right; the solution to stopping child abuse by Maori lies with Maori; we commend him for saying what others have thought but have feared to verbalise.

The Kahui case was appalling; a whole whanau took advantage of the Police allowing cultural sensitivity to be predominate in the days immediately after Chris and Cru Kahui died. Now we find that no-one will ever be held criminally responsible for the murder and abuse of the defenceless twins.

The overwhelming majority of Maori do not beat, abuse and kill their children, and they are the ones who must condemn those who do the loudest. If he really wants to build a legacy for Maori, King Tuheitia and his acolytes should take their focus away from hui on matters about how to build their empires and challenge the attitudes that made children like Nia Glassie and the Kahui twins playthings and punching bags rather than the treasured taonga the every tamariki deserves to be. 

A concerted effort by Maoridom's leaders is required. Perhaps it is time for Winston Peters to take on that role and use the years he has left in his political life and his high public profile to champion the rights of Maori children, and to erase the "serious blight on Maoridom" to which he referred yesterday.


James Fairskin said...

Correct me if I am wrong, but haven't you argued in the past that there is no such thing as 'Maoridom'?
Does every one with Maori ancestry have to bow their heads too, as you and Mr Peters require?
I have a friend who is 1/16 Maori and a well respected figure in our business community. Should he bow his head in shame at your and Winston's suggestion? Should his lovely, pale skinned children bow theirs? There are thousands upon thousands of New Zealanders who, despite looking very Pakeha, have Maori blood. Should they be bowing this morning because of the words of that MP and your condoning of them here on your blog?
Have you thought this through?
I note in your rules of commenting that you say 'don't defame people'. Does this apply to you as well?

Keeping Stock said...

@ James; you're wrong. I have never said that there is no such thing as Maoridom.

James Fairskin said...

How do you define Maoridom then, KS and can you give us an indication of who should be bowing their heads?
Is Jerry Mataparae one? Willi Apaiata? Dame Kiri Te Kanawa?

brian_smaller said...

I think the Maoridom that needs to bow it's head in shame is not the person who does not beat his kids, or the pale-skinned part Maori mate of James above. The maoridom that needs to bow it's head in shame is the Maoridom that speaks for all Maori. The aristocratic rulers of tribes, the iwi spokespeople and all those who throw blame around for every Maori social ill but pay lip service to where the problem lies - in Maori homes - specifically Maori homes where welfare dependence has become an three-four generation millstone around their necks. And alongside them the successive Governments who enabled this should follow.

James Fairskin said...

So, Brian, it's not 'Maoridom' but the Maori elite. Peters and Keeping Stock are wrong then, to say "Maoridom"? That generic term refers to a very broad group (that KS has yet to define).


Keeping Stock said...

@ James; Maori leaders need to show some leadership on this issue, especially those who have embedded Maori in grievance mode. But it goes far deeper than that, and Peters has enough of a common-man touch to be the one who can appeal to all Maori, despite having been very Pakeha-fied (I'm not sure if that is actually a word!) throughout his political career.

His is a long political career largely wasted. Maybe his epitaph can be that he was the one who caused Maori from the King to the bloke on the street to look at the appalling rate of child abuse by Maori, and to actually do something about stopping it.

James Fairskin said...

KS, please define Maoridom, so that we can know who it is you believe should be bowing their heads in shame.
Does it include Willi Apaiata, Jerry Mataparae, Dame kiri te Kanawa and a whole lot of other New Zealanders I'd like to ask about?

Cam Payne said...


David said...

James Fairskin
Perhaps the answer to your question lies in whether or not your 1/16 friend drops in and out of "maoriness" (or identification as Maori" depending on the circumstances. We are frequently told that you are what you feel you are so those who identify as Maori should be in that group called "maoridom" which KS postulates should express the outrage at what is happening and be a part of the solution.
They can't be "maori" for voting and treaty matters but "not maori" on other issues. The sword cuts both ways Jimmie.

Boi said...

This is a truly appalling post. KS why are you supporting patently untrue myths and stereotypes about Maori? Abuse is not a Maori issue it is a community issue and if you actually look at the statistics you will see that. This kind of pointing fingers at "others" just means you can say it is someone else's fault/problem. It is not. Last years statistics showed more Pakeha children than Maori children died as a result of abuse. Unfortunately the media only seem to report Maori deaths - feeding the myths and stereotypes which create/support prejudice.

A Voice Today said...

Must have been hard to write this post aye KS. :-)

bsprout said...

Anne Salmond claims that historically Maori treated their children well (this is based on all the historical evidence available), so that abuse of children is not cultural. Maori predominantly are on lower incomes, tend to be less academically qualified, and once made up much of our blue-collar workforce.

I do wonder if many dysfunctional families are related to low incomes, poverty and lack of work rather than being Maori. I wonder if should we compare NZ European statistics of those who share the same socioeconomic background and see if there are similarities?

KS, your blame the Maori approach seems very simplistic and perhaps even a little racist.

James Fairskin said...

David - but I don't make any claims at all for 'Maoridom' - that's something KS is doing. I'm asking what he means by it. So far, he seems not to be able to say.

Cam - very good!

Boi - you are correct to point out that KS, like Winston Peters (weird to see them so closely aligned in their thinking isn't it!!) is dog-whistling and creating division using stereotyping - "Maoridom" indeed! I sincerely hope he will step up and tell us what he means by that, rather than hiding in the background of his own blog by not answering.

Keeping Stock said...

Sod off James. I haven't been "hiding in the background of his own blog by not answering"; I've been out!

Keeping Stock said...

Apologies for snapping James, but I get sick and tired of demands. I stand by what I said in the post; the solution to Maori child abuse lies with Maori. You can define "Maori" as widely or as narrowly as you choose. Willie Apiata, Sir Jerry Mateparae and Dame Kiribati are all examples of what young Maori ought be aspiring to. Instead too many allow themselves to be trapped in victim mode.

I recently intervened in a domestic where two young Maori were getting verbally and physically abusive towards one another. With them was a baby of less than six months old? Has that child already been condemned to a life of poverty, neglect and abuse?

Child abuse is not unique to Maori, but on a per capita basis Maori are over-represented in statistics. Saying that is not racist; it is a statement of fact.

My wife and I have been involved in ministry to Maori. We've taken the time to study Te Reo, and to immerse ourselves in Tikanga Maori. And as bsprout notes, this kind of abusive behavior is a relatively recent phenomenon.

Most Maori don't abuse their children, but there is a hard core which does. The circumstances of the Glassie case were all too familiar; inter-generational abuse, alcohol and drug dependance and welfare dependancy.

Someone has to take the lead to break that cycle, and if Winston Peters were to make it his mission for what remains of his public life, would that not be a positive thing?

James Fairskin said...

No worries, KS. All bloggers get asked questions and I guess if your going to make statements, someones going to want to press you for clarification!

"If Winston Peters were to make it his mission for what remains of his public life, would that not be a positive thing?"

Well, yes, but not if he claims that all Maoridom must hang its head in shame. Surely all New Zealanders must do that. All humans perhaps. Choosing one group to blame, one race especially, sounds very much like racism.
I note that Peters blames Maoridom for the deaths of the Kahui twins, but I'm willing to bet that there is Pakeha blood flowing in the veins of all of those Kahuis involved in the tragedy, wouldn't you say? (I hope it's okay to ask you a question :-)

Barnsley Bill said...

Winston Peters only has one mission. To enhance the life of Winston Peters.
Still waiting for the 150 large he refuses to repay.
The dodgiest MP ever.

Tony HK. said...

Key leaves Winston way behind in the Dodgy Stakes, Bill.
Believe you me.

Bunk said...

No Tony HK I don't believe you