Any practical strategies?

LETTER

I read, with interest, a recent article in the Weekender by Glenis Philip-Barbara, who is the newly appointed general manager of the Te Ha Sestercentennial Trust.

I checked out the position’s job description on the internet, under “Communication and Relationship Management — Acting as the Trust’s media spokesperson as agreed with the Chairman, and ensuring that the Trust board’s key messages are correctly promulgated.” It therefore seems not unreasonable to assume that the opinions expressed in the article are those of the trust. This is, of course, subject to confirmation.

The article is peppered with words like suppress(ed), silence(d), annihilate, assimilate, widespread ignorance and racism. I found it hard to separate the historical assertions from the contemporary. A quote:

“As a nation we will not prosper socially, culturally or economically if we continue to suppress Maori rights, voices, ideas and leadership. There is rich learning for us as communities and for our nation, as we ‘lift the rug’ on our intertwined existence as Maori and Pakeha people. This is the real opportunity in the commemoration of this sestercentennial. This is the important space that must be created. Truths must be told. Wrongs must be made right. Denial is no longer an option. While there are some who say we are not ready for these discussions, we believe that the time is right. Te Ha Trust wants to place this pou in the ground and issue the challenge to our nation to enter this space and generate these courageous korero.”

This all seems a little open-ended to me. I wonder if the trust has any practical strategies in mind for discussion groups, or if educational literature will be available. This, to my mind, would allow those in the bicultural mix to assess, or reassess, their attitudes in order to actualise the concepts expressed in the mission statement of the Te Ha Trust, if thought necessary. It is now only a little more than 18 months to the sestercentennial commemorations.

Ron Taylor

I read, with interest, a recent article in the Weekender by Glenis Philip-Barbara, who is the newly appointed general manager of the Te Ha Sestercentennial Trust.

I checked out the position’s job description on the internet, under “Communication and Relationship Management — Acting as the Trust’s media spokesperson as agreed with the Chairman, and ensuring that the Trust board’s key messages are correctly promulgated.” It therefore seems not unreasonable to assume that the opinions expressed in the article are those of the trust. This is, of course, subject to confirmation.

The article is peppered with words like suppress(ed), silence(d), annihilate, assimilate, widespread ignorance and racism. I found it hard to separate the historical assertions from the contemporary. A quote:

“As a nation we will not prosper socially, culturally or economically if we continue to suppress Maori rights, voices, ideas and leadership. There is rich learning for us as communities and for our nation, as we ‘lift the rug’ on our intertwined existence as Maori and Pakeha people. This is the real opportunity in the commemoration of this sestercentennial. This is the important space that must be created. Truths must be told. Wrongs must be made right. Denial is no longer an option. While there are some who say we are not ready for these discussions, we believe that the time is right. Te Ha Trust wants to place this pou in the ground and issue the challenge to our nation to enter this space and generate these courageous korero.”

This all seems a little open-ended to me. I wonder if the trust has any practical strategies in mind for discussion groups, or if educational literature will be available. This, to my mind, would allow those in the bicultural mix to assess, or reassess, their attitudes in order to actualise the concepts expressed in the mission statement of the Te Ha Trust, if thought necessary. It is now only a little more than 18 months to the sestercentennial commemorations.

Ron Taylor

Your email address will not be published. Comments will display after being approved by a staff member. Comments may be edited for clarity.

G R Webb - 6 months ago
Perhaps, too, this enlightenment from the trust could include support for that longheld belief in Maori culture (but seemingly overlooked these days) that women were not allowed in the store pit, lest their condition cause the kumara to decay. So that only men might fetch tubers from the store.