Recently, my wife and I attended a concert in the Christchurch Town Hall where we found that all the staff were wearing black T-shirts with the words “Venues Otautahi” printed on them. I have subsequently learned that Venues Otautahi includes the Horncastle Arena in its stable and is already promoting the new covered stadium to be known, not unsurprisingly, as Te Kaha.
About the same time, I found myself driving through the centre of Dunedin where, across the road from the university, I spotted a prominent new sign promoting Tuhura. As I was stopped at a pedestrian crossing, I had a moment to study the sign where I found, via very small lettering at the bottom, that Tuhura is the Otago Museum.
Being of Scottish descent, and having grown up in Dunedin where my forebears arrived from Perthshire in 1861, I found this renaming deeply offensive. Unlike the Otago Settlers Museum where the contrived title “Toitu” appears in lettering of the same size as that of the museum’s original name, “Tuhura” has all but completely replaced the established name of the Otago Museum just as “Otautahi” has replaced reference to Christchurch in the operation of some of that city’s iconic venues.
The Otago Museum is an integral part of my and other Dunedin Scots’ heritage. A split in the Church of Scotland in 1843 led to the formation of the Free Church of Scotland which, at a practical level, sought to improve the lives of its adherents by two principal means – education and emigration. These came together in the establishment of Dunedin and, in Dunedin, the founding of our first university and of the first High School for girls in the British Empire and Southern Hemisphere. (Otago Girls High School) The establishment of a museum is part of that same commitment to scholarship and learning that Scottish migrants brought to Dunedin, and the wealth that came from gold enabled the Otago Museum to be richly endowed. I find it deeply offensive that a woke renaming exercise aims at giving the museum a new identity which all but suppresses any connection with its and the city’s Scottish heritage. Meanwhile, on the other side of Cumberland Street, the nation’s oldest university has embarked on a rebranding exercise as a “Te Tiriti-led” institution.
As a wave of woke Maorification has broken over the country in the past three years, my Otautahi / Tuhura experience and my reaction to it have been repeated up and down the country. It is no exaggeration to claim that imposed Maorification has given rise to a mood of suppressed fury on the part of a great many New Zealanders. That fury has been turning into a blend of rage and despair as it has become apparent that the manipulation of terminology and day-to-day expressions has had nothing to do with the preservation of an ailing language but everything to do with grooming an entire population to accept the pre-eminence of one cultural tradition and thus the growing political authority of those who claim the right to represent, interpret and act in the name of that cultural tradition. We have now had a glimpse of where we have been heading, we know what co-governance looks like and we know where it will take us if the agenda that under-pins it is not brought to an end.
The election of a new government and details of the coalition agreements that National have had no alternative but to sign up to give cause for hope. Even before the coalition talks had concluded, Willie Jackson , John Tamihere and others showed that they understood that resistance to their planned takeover had finally arrived, and Tukuroirangi Morgan’s outburst in response to details of the coalition agreements confirms that he and his associates have been intent on gaining power and privilege purely on the basis of having the right ancestors.
The big question that now confronts NZCPR readers and those who support kindred organisations is: Can we afford to leave it to a handful of ACT and NZ First MPs to defeat a powerful, well-supported agenda that has penetrated our legal system, our educational institutions, our mainstream media and our national and local body bureaucracies, or should we be organising practical support? To which the obvious answers are: NO we can’t, and YES we should.
The next question, therefore is: HOW?
The potential to make an impact unquestionably exists. The supporters of NZCPR and kindred organisations now number well over 100,000. We cannot but have a telling effect if we all concentrate on the same target.
So the next question is: What target?
The target must be a sector of society that needs us, but we do not depend on them for, if we need them (e.g. a bank) then a lot of us will not make the necessary sacrifice. The other criterion that the target group must meet is that, if they dropped their woke, contrived Maorification , it will be noticed.
The group that best meets those criteria is the extensive assembly of organisations that make up the charitable sector. Causes that aim at safeguarding nature or animals, at supporting disadvantaged people here or in other countries, at providing ambulance services, etc. etc. are all worthwhile, but support for those causes counts for little if our democracy crumbles. It follows that, if they wittingly (as is usually the case) or unwittingly indulge in woke Maorification and so contribute to the undermining of democracy, they do not deserve our financial support and it should be withdrawn.
Over the past few years, I have withdrawn support from every charitable organisation to which I formerly donated with the sole exception of the SPCA who do not indulge in Maorification. On each occasion, I have explained the significance of referring to our country as Aotearoa or using contrived Maori terms that I do not understand in a communication that is otherwise in English, and have advised that I will not support any organisation that contributes in this manner to the undermining of our democracy. I have a friend, Jerry, who has been doing the same thing but in a completely different style. Jerry simply explains that the gratuitous use of Maori terms that he does not understand causes him intense irritation, so they are not getting any more of his money. All styles will have an effect provided that the thousands of people who feel exactly the same way as Jerry and I do join in and DO something rather than imagine that NZ First and ACT are going to do it all for us.
The reaction to the news that Government Departments are again to be identified predominantly in English shows that imposed use of contrived Maori terms is an essential part of the He Puapua agenda. That agenda gained huge momentum over the past three years because so many groups and individuals throughout society joined in its promotion. We now have the opportunity over the coming three years to roll that agenda back. That can succeed only if massive numbers overtly support the new government, for the new government will certainly face well-organised opposition. There is no more painless way to make a political point than by not giving money away or by requesting that one’s name be removed from an organisation’s mailing list, provided that it is explained why. The trick is that thousands need to join in doing it. Thus far, thousands haven’t. Just how hard can it be to stop giving money away?