Every right to feel aggrieved

LETTER

Friday night’s front-page headline disturbed me. The inference is that we possibly have a biased and uneducated section of our council who require tutoring in what is acceptable to Maori. Are we going to follow this up with a study on what is acceptable to non-Maori?

I voted for councillors, not because of their racist views but rather because of their intellect, business acumen and simple common sense.

The heated comments from councillor Akuhata-Brown, who overheard a private conversation between two Pakeha councillors, has led to this absolute debacle of “what is required by Maori”.

Perhaps that councillor needed to “rein in her objection” at a far earlier stage of this discussion.

Remember, as I have stated in prior letters, racism is a two-way street, and, to my mind, Meredith has milked this to the best of her ability.

I actually voted for her because of my misguided thoughts that she had a great deal of unbiased intellect, but now I realise she is as racist as those she accused. Her ongoing vendetta has led to suggestions that unless our council, each and every one, becomes compliant with what Maori deem as acceptable then they are literally unqualified to be councillors.

Perhaps we could question Meredith and ask how racist is she, if she prioritises Maori protocol against that of non-Maori.

I agree, I do have a natural degree of bias — as do those who state, “You are wrong, we are right, you must accept our way.”

A very revered Maori told me this, and criticised this view much more intelligently than I could have.

Councillors Cranston, Burdett and MacLean, you have every right to feel aggrieved.

Mike Mulrooney

Friday night’s front-page headline disturbed me. The inference is that we possibly have a biased and uneducated section of our council who require tutoring in what is acceptable to Maori. Are we going to follow this up with a study on what is acceptable to non-Maori?

I voted for councillors, not because of their racist views but rather because of their intellect, business acumen and simple common sense.

The heated comments from councillor Akuhata-Brown, who overheard a private conversation between two Pakeha councillors, has led to this absolute debacle of “what is required by Maori”.

Perhaps that councillor needed to “rein in her objection” at a far earlier stage of this discussion.

Remember, as I have stated in prior letters, racism is a two-way street, and, to my mind, Meredith has milked this to the best of her ability.

I actually voted for her because of my misguided thoughts that she had a great deal of unbiased intellect, but now I realise she is as racist as those she accused. Her ongoing vendetta has led to suggestions that unless our council, each and every one, becomes compliant with what Maori deem as acceptable then they are literally unqualified to be councillors.

Perhaps we could question Meredith and ask how racist is she, if she prioritises Maori protocol against that of non-Maori.

I agree, I do have a natural degree of bias — as do those who state, “You are wrong, we are right, you must accept our way.”

A very revered Maori told me this, and criticised this view much more intelligently than I could have.

Councillors Cranston, Burdett and MacLean, you have every right to feel aggrieved.

Mike Mulrooney

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

Not Maori - 17 days ago
"A very revered Maori" told you one thing one time and so that makes everything OK? That is an example of the age-old tactic used by non-indigenous people "Oh my comment can't be racist, or prejudiced, etc because I have a friend/my sister's husband/my neighbour/this one non-white person in my life told me that it is OK, so I am entitled to make this probably offensive remark".
Individual racism is rife, and can be directed at anyone, of any culture, I agree.
Institutional racism - however - is the issue that is trying to be addressed by the tikanga course. Institutional racism and race-based privilege is very real here in Gisborne, as in the rest of New Zealand - probably more if you look at the socio-economic vulnerability here, coupled with how far it is from any major centre.
Why would placing Maori protocol over Non-Maori protocol in Gisborne be racist? This place is manawhenua for a large part of the population, with a relationship to it that no Pakeha person would be able to truly understand.
It is letters like these that show complacency with institutional racism and makes me hope that as the older generations leave us, their opinions will too.

Weary Whiteman - 15 days ago
"A relationship no Pakeha person could understand."
Is that so? Please, educate me. I'd like to try to understand it.
Is it not possible for me to understand it because I'm white? That seems like racism.
Don't go assuming that simply being white means I cannot understand something when all it requires is education.
Refusing to teach it because someone "just won't understand, they're not one of us" is going to help just as much as someone refusing to try learn it because "it's nothing to do with me" - which is to say, not at all.
While someone not wishing to understand can't be helped, many are more than willing - so don't tar us all with the same brush, thank you.

Not Maori - 14 days ago
"Weary Whiteman" - "No Pakeha would understand" is not meant to be derogatory. Nor is it meant to mean "white" - Pakeha is a term for anyone who isn't Maori. The relationship between tangata whenua and manawhenua cannot be learned in a classroom, or over a short period, many Maori spend their entire lives learning and exploring it. It is not like learning a language, or specific tikanga, it is felt in the wairua, the very bones of the people connected to this place. There is no refusal of education, in fact there are literally hundreds of Maori in this area who would only be too happy to shed light and share knowledge.