Waitangi Day media conflict | The Jackal

6 Feb 2013

Waitangi Day media conflict

Today is Waitangi Day, and if we were to believe the mainstream media, it's a day of Maori radicalism, conflict with the Crown and disharmony within Tribes.

Despite all the hoopla, Waitangi Day signifies the signing of the Tiriti o Waitangi, which is our founding document that was meant to give Aotearoa a way forward together.

But instead of upholding that legally binding document, the Crown has ensured that many Maori are treated as second-class citizens through various forms of state repression.

There's no escaping that our society has an ugly undercurrent of racism, which is something Maori know all too well and that our media often try to justify by focusing on conflict.

Today, the NZ Herald reported (not online yet):

However washing the country's dirty laundry in public does little for fostering notions of unity and nationhood.

In recent years the protests have become more personal with prime ministers and leaders of the opposition seen as legitimate targets for both verbal and occasional physical abuse.

Add the complicating and intimidating factor of the Harawira family to the mix and the result is an agglomeration of nervous tension ahead of February 6 which annually saps Waitangi Day of dignity.

The entire Harawira family sap Waitangi Day of dignity? What a gross generalization and a perfect example of the racist sentiment within the mainstream media.

With such division being openly promoted, it's little wonder that John Armstrong turns out to be an old white fella. His article is in fact a flaccid attempt to regurgitate Paul Homes' racist rant from February last year, which received widespread condemnation.

What really saps Waitangi Day of dignity and the country for that matter is the inequality and poverty that has increased dramatically under a National led government. Never before has New Zealand been so impoverished and downtrodden, and with Maori feeling the brunt of that degradation they have in my opinion a right to be angry.

In fact the media focussing on conflict has taken what's meant to be our national day of celebration and turned it into a racially divisive day full of resentments, resentments that aren't properly reported on in any way shape or form.

Instead, the NZ Herald reported:

Waikato-Tainui and Ngai Tahu have received Crown Treaty payments totalling $138 million but are entering into an arbitration process because the tribes believe the payments are at the lower limit of their entitlement.

Cash landed in iwi bank accounts in December. For the North Island tribe the figure was $70 million, for Ngai Tahu $68 million. The sums are linked to their historic settlements - the two were the first to settle in the 1990s.

The article goes on to falsely paint John Key as a moderate leader wanting things to be settled... In other words the Crown is good and those uppity Maori are the bad guys, a sentiment that’s perfect fodder for the racist sentiments of those who believe Maori are getting settlement money for nothing.

But really what the Crown has been offering is only a fraction of the value of what was taken, so nothing has changed in that regard… Throughout recent history Maori have been systematically dispossessed from their ancestral lands and downtrodden by consecutive government’s.

With the United Nations committee on the elimination of racial discrimination recognising the fact that Maori are discriminated against in our judicial system, there's no doubt that Maori have been repressed by a western way of life. Such widespread discrimination can result in various social dysfunctions such as overrepresentation in unemployment, crime and welfare dependency statistics, just to name a few negative consequences to a racially divided society.

Today, the NZ Herald also reported:

Beneficiaries have overtaken Asians as the group New Zealanders consider to be the most discriminated against.

A UMR Research survey of 750 people, commissioned by the Human Rights Commission has found 74 per cent of people think beneficiaries are facing discrimination.

Being that Maori are more likely to be welfare dependent and beneficiaries have been actively targeted by a National government under John Key whenever their poll ratings start to decline, one must conclude that our current government is just as racist as any administration before it, if not more so.

In combination with an overtly racist media that actively promotes bigotry, it's little wonder that Maori youth are more likely to kill themselves than any other ethnic group in New Zealand. That's one unmistakable result to the medias pandering to racism and the government’s active role in belittling and demoralizing beneficiaries.

The reality of Waitangi Day has been glossed over by our corporate media machine that obviously has a vested interest in keeping the status quo, and to base ones opinion on what they produce would make one ignorant of the facts.