|The Te Korowai Trust logo, freshly painted onto their Relay for Life banner|
"The world in which you were born is just one model of reality. Other cultures are not failed attempts at being you, they are unique manifestations of the human spirit."
and another one, especially for all of us New Zealanders. . .
The Treaty is simply the most important document in New Zealand's history.
(Sir Robin Cooke)
Last week, I attended a Treaty of Waitangi course, run by Robert Consedine of Waitangi Associates, and these two quotes were on the wall for us to ponder during our two day course. Much food for thought. . . If you ever get the opportunity to attend one of these Treaty courses, I can't recommend it enough - it was amazing!
Is it a coincidence, then, that this evening on the way back from swimming, 11 year old Sonny Jim and I were engaged in a frank discussion about the theft of Māori land by successive NZ governments, and how the theft caused a lack of economic base and the Crown's disregard for the Treaty of Waitangi has been so damaging? And if a law existed that didn't suit the government because they might have had to take Māori rights into consideration, then they changed the law. I explained to SJ that while I was walking around Motueka this afternoon, I was pondering that I was walking on stolen ground. We both considered how WE would feel if our land and resources were taken from us (angry, resentful, lacking trust in the "establishment" etc). We discussed the notion of guardianship of land, sea and natural resources rather than ownership, and whatever happened to the tenths reserves?! It all seems very straightforward to SJ - the stolen land, or plenty of money to attempt to make up for its theft should be returned to the Māori iwi as soon as possible. And that's the end of that! I have to say I agree with him.