Much of the attention of the media over January has been on matters Māori. I have really enjoyed the debates and the discourse. I have included some of my reflections on the month’s events in articles to follow.
Rosemary has added the image here which has some to represent both Maori and Pakeha commitment to hold on to Te Tiriti as our founding document.
One of the issues discussed during the month was the re-release of Michael King’s book.
The forward was written by our old friend Sir Tipene O’Reagan. In an article a reviewer said Tipene praised King for:
“putting Māori-Pākehā relationships at the forefront of our public conversation”, which included pioneering books on Māori history in the 1970s, before it became politically difficult for a Pākehā writer to do that kind of work. O’Regan also acknowledged King for “identifying Pākehā as an indigenous culture in Aotearoa New Zealand”,
The reviewer of the book concluded: (this) is a controversial view that O’Regan happens to agree with.
I would expect nothing more as a quote from Tipene. I was chairing a Board meeting one day and Tipene was distracting everyone with yet another hilarious story. I interrupted and asked, before I made a ruling, was I addressing a Māori, or a Pakeha. He paused and then replied, “a bit of both”. That’s what that quote above encapsulates.
I guess it would be difficult for Tipene to say that his mother, who was Māori, was indigenous but his father, who was multi-generational pakeha, was not. I don’t see his comment as being controversial at all.