Redemption starts with education

LETTER

The 250th anniversary of James Cook’s arrival in Turanga nui a Kiwa begins in just 13 weeks. While there have been some conversations around that first meeting between Pakeha and Maori, there is still a long way to go before truth, reconciliation, acceptance, equality and full power sharing can take place. The narrative so far has largely been Eurocentric, being an opportunity for the dominant culture to reinforce the narrative of entitlement and privilege.

The symbolism of Cook’s arrival and what followed on from that has been a bitter, painful, contentious issue for successive generations of tangata whenua. This and the aftermath of the Land Wars (the bloody past) cry out for redemption and reconciliation.

For me, redemption comes by way of education. Firstly by acknowledging our shared life together, as well as facing up to the things that separate us, and then finding solutions to the same.

As a community and a nation, we cannot move forward in a meaningful way until this has been attended to. The 250th anniversary presents us with a golden opportunity to experience new understandings and beginnings by not talking past each other, by listening to others’ points of view, and being open to change to seek the betterment of those who are impoverished and are at the bottom of society’s ladder.

In this I understand the struggle and frustration of many who, as a matter of conscience, stand up for those who are marginalised and are themselves then seen as being anti-establishment.

If we want to, as a community and as a nation, we can rewrite the narrative, fix up what we can, pay it forward and forgive, and write off what we can’t.

For the sake of ourselves, our children, our mokopuna and our future unborn generations, this is an imperative and is something very doable if we put hand on heart, forgive each other and work hard towards putting right what we can for the common good.

Is this an impossible dream for the future?

“Na to rourou-na taku rourou—ka ora ai te iwi” (With your help and mine the people will thrive).

Wally Te Ua

The 250th anniversary of James Cook’s arrival in Turanga nui a Kiwa begins in just 13 weeks. While there have been some conversations around that first meeting between Pakeha and Maori, there is still a long way to go before truth, reconciliation, acceptance, equality and full power sharing can take place. The narrative so far has largely been Eurocentric, being an opportunity for the dominant culture to reinforce the narrative of entitlement and privilege.

The symbolism of Cook’s arrival and what followed on from that has been a bitter, painful, contentious issue for successive generations of tangata whenua. This and the aftermath of the Land Wars (the bloody past) cry out for redemption and reconciliation.

For me, redemption comes by way of education. Firstly by acknowledging our shared life together, as well as facing up to the things that separate us, and then finding solutions to the same.

As a community and a nation, we cannot move forward in a meaningful way until this has been attended to. The 250th anniversary presents us with a golden opportunity to experience new understandings and beginnings by not talking past each other, by listening to others’ points of view, and being open to change to seek the betterment of those who are impoverished and are at the bottom of society’s ladder.

In this I understand the struggle and frustration of many who, as a matter of conscience, stand up for those who are marginalised and are themselves then seen as being anti-establishment.

If we want to, as a community and as a nation, we can rewrite the narrative, fix up what we can, pay it forward and forgive, and write off what we can’t.

For the sake of ourselves, our children, our mokopuna and our future unborn generations, this is an imperative and is something very doable if we put hand on heart, forgive each other and work hard towards putting right what we can for the common good.

Is this an impossible dream for the future?

“Na to rourou-na taku rourou—ka ora ai te iwi” (With your help and mine the people will thrive).

Wally Te Ua

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Tony Z - 3 months ago
Hear hear Wally,
You could also extend your comments regarding a struggle to those that are firmly entrenched in the Eurocentric vision of NZ history and the resulting hangover for our future it has created.
Our past was not perfect, nor was it as disastrous as what occurred in other nations. But is is OUR history and a shared taonga that struggles to be acknowledged. Our understanding of its effect on our past and future is a cause to be celebrated.

G R Webb - 3 months ago
I struggle to acknowledge why someone would desecrate the two Cook statutes? Or why they want to stop the Endeavour replica coming here. I suspect the taonga is only shared when it suits your viewpoint?

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