New Zealand was sparsely populated by ungoverned Maori tribes when European settlement commenced in the early 1800s. A new nation was hacked out of the bush. In the first one hundred years a huge amount was achieved by people driven, initially, by no more than the will to survive in appalling conditions. The survival and achievement skills of the pioneers were self-reliance, individual responsibility and achievement, thrift, and the need for strong families. Many Maoris adopted these values and became outstanding and prominent New Zealanders.
Then in the 1930s the country embraced socialism and the cradle-to-the-grave welfare state. Enter the culture of dependency and with it the politics of left-wing envy, largely promoted by communist agitators in trade unions.
The country had a race relations record which was second to none. But that all changed in the 1960s when left-wing activists used as a model, the United States civil rights movement to stir the pot of racial disharmony. Cuban and Libyan trained "indigenous peoples" rights hucksters began singing their hymns of hate. This was the birth of our race relations and grievance industries.
Politicians of all shades have capitulated to the demands of the activists. Legislators and bureaucrats have put in place, without a mandate from the people, a system of reverse apartheid called "biculturalism." The irony is that the ringleaders behind the ugly street protests against apartheid in South Africa, are the same people pushing "biculturalism."
As well as giving special treatment based on race to a minority representing twelve per cent of the population, the separatist program has re-distributed wealth by way of monetary reparations and the gifting of assets, such as sea fisheries, forests, and parts of the radio wave spectrum. Tribal squabbling over the largesse benefits the lawyers. The separatist agenda has cost taxpayers a colossal amount of money, and continues to do so, with little or no positive payback. It is causing racial conflict where none previously existed.
So what have the multi-million dollar reparation and devolution payments done for the low- and middle-income minority Maori people? Virtually nothing. The government funding of the feudalistic tribes and associated organizations has spawned a bureaucracy made up of many who got their jobs through tribal nepotism rather than ability. A few have become rich at the expense of many. Mismanagement, fraud, and theft happen all too frequently.
And as this goes on, Maoris are being left behind educationally. They feature adversely and disproportionately, and by a very wide margin, in the statistics of crime, health, alcohol and drug abuse, welfare dependency, teenage pregnancy, solo parenting, abortion and family abuse, both violent and sexual. The risk of a Maori mother being bashed senseless by a man is seven times greater than for the population as a whole. Violence against children is at a similar level. That segment of their leadership regarded as responsible remains silent about the worsening social problems while they continue to pick up their big checks from the government. The radical ones blame the white man's system for the dreadful outcome. Perhaps they are right for the wrong reason — the debilitating effects of long-term welfare dependency.
People are afraid to talk about the horror statistics for fear of being called racist. But this might be changing. The country has had enough of the shame brought on it by the continual killing of defenseless children by those "caring" for them.
Things came to a head a few days ago with the most awful abuse against a 23 month-old child. The little girl was taken to a country hospital, dead for five hours from horrific injuries. An autopsy revealed she had been bashed about the head and body, and scalded with hot liquid that had been poured over her head and face. And if that was not enough, the low-life involved sexually violated her. Yes, just 23 months old, the victim of a booze-ridden environment where incest is commonplace. And these people are so impervious to the decency standards of a civilized society that they are frustrating police investigations by clamming up in an attempt to cover up. But the politically correct say the silence is a cultural reaction that others cannot possibly understand.
The deep community anger over this case is unprecedented.
And our white socialist prime minister, who depends on the Maori vote to be the leader of this nation, says the little girl's death had more to do with poverty than anything else. What an appalling response from a hard-line feminist. Forget about the lack of personal responsibility and human decency of those "caring" for the little girl. Don't tell the truth because that will offend and crucial votes will be lost. Instead, blame it on poverty, the great scarecrow employed by socialists when the chickens bred of their bankrupt policies of dependency come home to roost.
The only poverty that exists in God's Great Garden is the poverty of mind. This is the sad product of years of doctrinaire left-liberalism which, Steven Yates rightly says, "is the ideology most responsible for abandoning the rules that must be in place if society is to survive in the long term."
August 5, 2000
Colin Robertson, a former officer of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, is a businessman and writer. He is working on a book on New Zealand’s race relations industry.