I don’t know much about history … Joel Maxwell

Born again Maori

By Roger Childs

The Dominion Post reporter seems to have rediscovered a little bit of Polynesian ancestry and is writing as if he came out in one of the first four waka.

Headlines like 100 million for the Cup but Maori youth get nothing and this week Pakeha – the thieving neighbours from hell do get attention.

Is it a case of just wanting to be provocative and get people’s backs up, or is he deadly serious?

Tossing out pakeha

… given a chance, Maori would ship them back to wherever they or their ancestors came from.

Pakeha is a rather meaningless term and by definition generally means white people of European ancestry.

The problem for Joel’s “shipping out” suggestion is that some of his forbears were of European ancestry, and in fact all Maori today are in fact part-Maori.

All New Zealanders have mixed ancestry and their forbears came to New Zealand as immigrants.

People voted against special treatment

His article this week centred on the rejection in some places, of special Maori wards in local government. Unfortunately he didn’t examine the issue of why one group should get a separate allocation.

Basically in rejecting special wards the majority of voters were basically saying let’s treat everyone equally, regardless of their ethnicity. That’s what the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which New Zealand has signed up to, says.

Article 1 states: All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Learning from history

But history only works if you are honest. Joel has got that right, but as the quote at the top indicates, his knowledge of New Zealand’s history is not great.

This shows up in his highly inaccurate statement referring to the theft and alienation of an entire people’s (Maori) home… that happened over decades of confiscations and battles …

Joel should read about

  • the early 19th century inter-tribal wars that killed more than 40,000 Maori
  • the 1840 Treaty of Waitangi which ended those wars, brought in the rule of law and outlawed cannibalism and slavery
  • the process of Maori freely selling land
  • the benefits that colonisation brought for Maori.

Does he know, for example, that all Maori men had the right to vote before all non-Maori men?

All New Zealanders

The DomPost journalist need to appreciate the obvious, that all of us in the country are equal citizens, whatever our origins or claimed ethnicity.

We all use shops, roads, television sets, modern technology, public transport, eating places, banks, libraries and other local facilities within New Zealand, and have our interests in family, friends, sport and culture.

We may identify with a particular ethnic organisation: the Irish Society, the Pacific Island Church, the local marae, the Chinese Association whatever, however if we are citizens of the nation we are all equal Kiwis.

Who is the racist?

Am I a racist, as Joel and his fans might conclude?

Sadly the designation slips too easily off the tongue and pen. It actually means to treat people differently, often in  a negative way, on the basis of their origins and ethnicity.

If I fit the definition, then Joel has some conclusions.

I think racists are smart enough to know we should at least try to understand the shared lesson of our history, our society, our biology, our consciousness, our world, and our universe. But they inevitably blow it. They are, after all, still pretty dumb.


I am shocked by the nasty remarks Joel Maxwell has attracted. Have these correspondents actually read the Treaty of Waitangi? Māori were promised self rule and autonomy over their lands. History shows that they were systematically cheated out of this beginning within months of British rule. Nobody had “internet, phones, electricity…” etc in 1840 (none invented by the British anyhow) but Māori were early adopters of technology and you can just bet that without colonisation they would still be using these now. Compensation for cheating deals by our Pakeha ancestors has amounted to less than 10% of what was lost. You can see when there are such ill-informed and bigoted views that a seat at the table can only be guaranteed to Māori by having a dedicated ward for them. A candidate wishing to advocate for Māori would have little chance of election in a general seat. Why not have a referendum that only those on the Māori general roll participate in to find out whether there is interest in having a Māori ward?

Article one of TOW clearly states maori cede sovereignty forever. Have a look, it is very clear. Article two, in maori, says the treaty is for maori, and ALL THE PEOPLE OF NEW ZEALAND!. Have a look it is very clear, in fact have pasted it for you: ki nga tangata katoa o Nu Tirani.

Non maori brought law and order and modern technology at the time. Such as the wheel, maori were not using it before. If they did not bring things maori wanted, why did maori trade with ships? They even boiled heads and sold them to get things from the ships and non maori citizens.

The TOW says we are all equal as British Subjects… EQUAL. What do you not understand about that written in clear english?

Ignorance is not empowerment, using it as such is the highest form of low level thinking.

Mr Maxwell has raised the bar of dishonesty out of reach now, in whitey’s stealing all our stuff as he fails to mention the billions of dollars handed over to maori tribes to operate businesses now documented at operating at $50,000000000, yes that’s an eye watering $50 billion andPAY NO TAX!!!These operations use all of Whitey’s infrastructure: internet, phone, electricity, transport, banking, communications, buildings, toilets and tea rooms.
If Maxwell was honest enough to look around the room where he sits right now, he will see only things made possible by Whitey:his chair, the building, window joinery,fittings, computer,desk, phone, carpet, door, latch, hinge, carpentry, heat, air conditioning,stairs, note pad with dentist appointment and hip replacement date.
So, for stealing our stuff, tribal corporations paying no tax back for all they are getting of Whitey’s stuff takes some beating;Journalist Horace Greeley is on this one:…”The darkest hour in any man’s life is when he sits down to plan how to get money without earning it.” Horace Greeley

What is your aim here Mr Maxwell?
Intelligent debate?
Social change? ….. or manufactured racial division spurning civil war in Aotearoa New Zealand ?
Be very careful about what you wish for Mr Maxwell.

Would be fine if descendants of Maori were honest enough to admit that their pre-European culture was no more than a primitive stone age existence. How could any of their customs be beneficial to a modern day society? It’s time they were charged for the use of Western technology that has given them the chance to be included in the 21st century..
Bud JonesQSM

Well done RogerChilds, I read this Maxwell piece too,with total dismay. This ain’t pretty stuff!! The vitriol and frothing tirades are almost tangible .Difficult to imagine how a partially blooded semi brown person with an obvious English ancestry and name could spew such nasty stuff fomenting such hatred. A number of my well respected group are putting in a formal complaint to the Press Council regarding this item one friend has had previous success resulting in 2 so-called “Journalists”, seeking alternative employment!!
Bud JonesQSM

Artist Teacher
Victoria University

Thank you for a much-needed corrective to a quite shockingly piece of historically inaccurate, crudely written and utterly unacceptable outpouring which would never have appeared in the Dompost, or any other national publication, under previous editors who respected the reading public.

Stuff seems to have reached rock bottom in its outpouring of extraordinarily unbalanced articles on important issues of the day.This media outlook has now got so bad that questions concerning editorial competence need to be raised.

It will shock many readers that newspaper standards have plunged so low in this country that the sheer rubbish this Ignorant writer has produced even saw the light of day. What has gone wrong has to be the big question.


Leave a Reply to Bud JonesQSM Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.