Friday, 21 November 2014

Email to the Prime Minister of Āotearoa.

Redmayne, Thomas, fl 1880s-1890s. Redmayne, Thomas, fl 1880s-1890s :Attack on the Maori Pah at Rangiriri. [1863].

This morning I sent an email to Āotearoa/New Zealand's wilfully ignorant Prime Minister. I sent it following his appalling comments on the history of our country reported on the 19th of November, 2014. ( I just had to mention the year, some people might have thought the article was dated 1914, such is the ignorance of the attitude displayed).
"When we talk about the treaty and sovereignty and all those matters, [Mr Key said] you take a step back and say well what was really happening. In my view New Zealand was one of the very few countries in the world that were settled peacefully. Maori probably acknowledge that settlers had a place to play and bought with them a lot of skills and a lot of capital," he says.

Dear Mr Key,

Just thought you might need a little bit of help with Aotearoa/New Zealand History.
Someone started a facebook page asking people to send you their history books, but me, I'm a cheapskate.

So below is a website.
"In all, there were an estimated 3000 casualties during the New Zealand Wars – the majority of them Māori. But for some Māori the wars were only the beginning, with land confiscation being the fate of many of the survivors. After the wars the struggle for land entered a new and, in some respects, more damaging phase, giving rise to a whole new chapter in New Zealand's history.
" (from the site)

I hope you realise that it is incredibly embarrassing to the people of this country to have a Prime Minister showing himself to be so incredibly ignorant.
Please up your game,

ka kite,
Liz Odell

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Roger Sutton and Sexism in The Workplace

I want to say that I am extremely disappointed in Roger Sutton because up until recently I thought him a decent bloke, but any man who can only use sexual innuendo when in conversation with women clearly sees women only as sexual objects, and not as fully-functioning human beings. We have an old bloke round our neighbourhood whom I am sure is perfectly harmless but every time you see him he has to comment about your attributes or refer to any group of women as his harem. This while his wife stands by his side - she smiles and says this is just how he is. Which reminds me of Roger Sutton's wife on tv saying similar stuff - this is just his way etc etc. It becomes old, it becomes tired, it becomes stale and as far as the local old feller goes, most of us avoid him now. 

But when you are at work, in your place of employment, when you need to work with these people, you can't avoid this kind of weary innuendo and as a woman (albeit a cranky old one now), you get fed up with it. It's not funny, it doesn't make you feel better or sexy even, it makes you feel objectified. It makes you feel like a thing. It is outright depressing. 

Roger Sutton did not own his behaviour in my eyes watching his so-called apology on the news, he down-played it, he was just a jokey bloke, he said, caught out in [a wee bit] of inappropriate behaviour. You other lads, you'd better watch out, eh. 

I say, you other lads, you should have learnt this stuff years ago, it's been a long time since the seventies when all this discussion first came to the fore. And given the stuff we are not told - we know Roger Sutton is charged with serious misconduct so he must have gone far further down the track than being a bit inappropriate. 

And here's another thing. While all this was being gone into, he got to stay at work while the woman complainant was sent home where she got to work in silent, gagged isolation. I will argue that this is an instance of institutionalised sexism, old boys club stuff. Why was it not the other way around? Why was Sutton not removed from all those other women in his office, left to put up with his "inappropriateness"?

"I'm not a victim," says Roger Sutton. "I've been seeing my psychologist." As though this is a crime against him. Words fail.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

My Final Assessment - A debate on Whaikōreo

this photograph, taken in 1950, of  Ngāti Porou leader Sir Āpirana Ngata giving a whaikōrero on the Raukawa marae at Ōtaki, on the centennial of the Rangiātea Church.

Over the last three years I have been working hard to learn to speak te reo Māori through Te Wananga o Āotearoa, something I have always wanted to be able to accomplish. I still have much to learn but at the end of this year, assuming I pass this next āromātawai (assessment), I will have earned myself a diploma of which I shall be very proud. This last āromātawai take place next Tuesday evening and comprises a debate about whaikōrero and whether it is alright to whaikōrero in English on the marae ātea, and whether Pākehā should be enabled to whaikōrero on the marae ātea? My rōpu take the negative side of the debate - we argue that te reo Māori is the only language that should be spoken on the marae ātea and that if Pākehā should be speaking on the marae ātea, that they should only do so if they are fluent in te reo, and understand Māori tikanga etc. It would, of course, not be me, if I did not introduce a feminist element to this debate. 

I am the second speaker, below is my speech. Underneath that is a Pākehā translation.

Tihēi mauriora!
Kia hiwa rā, kia hiwa rā!
Tēnā rā koe, Arama.
Tēnā rā koe, Gina.
Tēnā rā koutou.

Me ki tino he kaingakau atu nōku ki tō whaikōrero, heoi anō, kāore koe e puta he tautohenga ngoto! He koe kōnukenuke! He hē rawa!

Ki ōku nei whakaaro, i a tātou hitori pūwhenua he pānga tō tane Pākehā kei roto i ngā āhuatanga o ngā tane Māori, anake. Nō reira, e ai ki tēnei pānga, he rerekē te āhuatanga o te whaikōrero o ngā tane i te āhuatanga o te karanga o ngā wahine. 

He whaikōrero tino hirahira! He whaikōrero hikihikitia! He whaikōrero te tūnga o te whakataetaetanga, ināianei!

Engari, kei whea ngā tautohenga mo te karanga? Kei whea ngā tane i pirangi ki te karanga? Ki tōku mohiotanga - kahore!

Nā whai anā, ka kōrerotia te reo Pākehā e ngā Pirimia tane o Āotearoa i te marae atea. E ai ki ngā tangata Pākehā, kei te pai! E ai ki ngā tangata Māori, kāore ahau i te mohio?

Nō reira, whakaturia rawa mai e tātou katoa ō tātou Pirimia wahine, timata tonu rekareka! He aha ia i kōrero ai i te marae ātea, ā, kāore e taea e te wahine Māori? He aha ngā Mīnita Pākehā i kōrero ai i te marae ātea, ā, kāore e taea e te wahine Māori? Ka ngakau-hihiko i ngā wahine Māori!

Mai i tōku māramatanga Pākehā ake, ki ōku nei whakaaro ko te reo Māori anake i kōrero i te marae ātea mākūare ki ngā ira tangata. 

Ki tā motuhenga, "Whaikōrero", āhea te Kaikorero ka kōrero anō i te reo Māori, kāore e mārama e waru-tekau paihēneti o ngā tangata. Me kōrero ia ngā pakitara. Ka pouri tātou.

Ki tā Alison, me kōrero te whaikōrero i te reo Pākehā i te marae ātea! He aha te tikanga o tērā? Ki tānā, he kai-roto i ngā tangata katoa, ā, ka harikoa katoa i te mara! Ehara i te tika!

He aha te marae ātea? He wahi tū o te reo Māori! He wahi rerenga mo te reo Māori! He wahi rānga-wairua! He wahi o te reo Māori ātaahua, ka kōrero te reo Māori, ka rongo tātou te reo Māori ātaahua! 

Mā te whakarongo te mārama. Mā te pātai te mohio. Mā te ako te mohio. 

E tika ana te kōrero i o tātou tupuna, "kaua mā te waewae tūtuki, engari, mā te ūpoku pākaru".

E ai ki tōku rōpu, ka riro mā ia tangata e tiaki te reo Māori. Ka riro mā tātou katoa e ako. Ka riro mā tātou katoa e akona ā tātou tamariki.

Ka riro mā ngā kura e akona ā tātou tamariki, hoki. Nā te mea, i haina Te Tiriti o Waitangi, ka riro mā te kawanatanga e utu ngā rauemi mo akona te reo Māori.

Ano, e tikia ana te kōrero i ō tātou tupuna, " He manga wai koia kia kore e whitikia".

Kia ora.

Greetings everyone,

I must say I really enjoyed your speech, however, you have not produced a telling argument. A crooked paddle - that's too bad!

To my thinking, in our colonial history, the interest of the English male was only in the roles of male Māori. Therefore according to that interest, the role of male whaikōrero is different to that of the female karanga. Whaikōrero became more important. Whaikōrero elevated. Whaikōreo, now a site of contention.

After all, where is the argument over karanga? Where are the men desiring to karanga? To my knowledge there are none.

That's why the male Prime Ministers of Āotearoa speak in English on the marae ātea (the space in front of the wharenui). According to the Pākehā people, that's all good. According to the Māori people, I don't know. 

However, when we all eventually elected a female Prime Minister, that's when the fun began.

Why should she speak on the marae ātea and Māori women cannot? Why should Pākehā ministers speak on the marae ātea and Māori women cannot? Māori women are switched-on!

From my particular Pākehā perspective, I think the Māori language only should be spoken on the marae, regardless of the speaker's gender.  

According to the documentary "Wahikōrero", when the kaikōrero (speaker) speaks in te reo Māori, eighty percent of people don't understand. He might as well talk to the walls! That is sad. 

According to Alison [the speaker from the other group that I follow] English should be spoken on the marae ātea. What is the point of that? According to her, this will be inclusive for all and everyone will be happy in the garden! Not true!

What is the marae ātea? It is the place of standing for the Māori language. It is the place of refuge for the Māori language. The spiritual place. It is the place of the beautiful Māori language, the place to speak the beautiful Māori language, the place for us all to hear the Māori language spoken beautifully. 

Listen and you will understand. Ask and you will know. Learn and you will know. 

In the wise words of our ancestors, "Don't relinquish because of a mere maimed leg, rather, only give up if your injury is very severe, like a crushed head!"

According to our group, it is our responsibility to care for the Māori language. It is our responsibility to learn. It is our responsibility to teach our tamariki and our mokopuna.

Again, using the wise words of our ancestors, "It is a big river indeed that cannot be crossed. 

Kia ora.