E tatou e nga urupa o o tatou mate huhua puta noa e hui nei i runga i te reo karanga a te Tiriti o Waitangi na reira nei tatou i paihere, tenei ka mihi atu


The vision which led to this lecture was contained in a proposal from Te Tai Tokerau District Maori Council put forward at Waitangi in 2001.   Sir Graham Latimer in putting forward the proposal said


"In signing the treaty our ancestors committed themselves to building a place where Maori and Pakeha would look to each other with love, dignity, and respect. In the name of Waitangi and in honour of our signing ancestors The Tai Tokerau District Maori Council seeks to ensure that the dream of harmony is made true in our time by drawing deeply on established wells of courage and tolerance to make the vision a reality by the year 2040."


The year 2040 will of course be the two hundredth anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840.


The proposal   puts forward a positive obligation to build a future where relationships between peoples may be described in terms of love, dignity, and respect. However difficult such a task may be  (and humankind has not been conspicuously successful in the past in achieving such a society) it is a goal not only worth working for but a justification for society itself.


Nevertheless while we seek to build for the future we cannot ignore the past. All achievement has its roots in what has gone before and the plant the flowering of which we look to in 2040 grows because it draws its nourishment from our history. Without changing the metaphor too much our society has its roots in those deep wells of which Sir Graham spoke.


First there was the land. It is the land which has made us what we are. This land flourished for hundreds of thousands of years before the coming of mankind. It endured great convulsions which shaped it and which may not yet have ceased. It has its own identity unique on our planet and is incomparable in its beauty and its abundance and it is filled with life. A part of our vision for the year 2040 must be to see that the land is preserved and not destroyed by human greed. We must also do what lies within our power to restore that which has already been marred by rapacity and lack of vision. We bear each one of us an obligation to play our part in the preservation of our country and in its regeneration and in doing so we must not be diverted by specious reasons of short-term expediency. A pine tree may be turned into money in 27 years.  A Totara will provide shelter and beauty for hundreds of years. We need many more Totara.


The first encounters of humankind with this land occurred with the coming of the Maori.

 In myths and legends we have still some remnants of those early encounters with the children of the mist.  We call to mind the wonder and the relief which the early voyagers must have had as they came to this land after wild and terrifying journeys across the Moananui a Kiwa. They came with traditions but as the generations went by   the stories and achievements, and the memories became those which related to this place.


For generations the people of this land lived in isolation.  Travel to and from the islands from which they came gradually ceased and they became a people distinct.


 Maori named the land. In doing so they built a memory into the land itself of the encounters which gave rise to those names. They roamed over and knew the mountains and rivers, the Lakes and the sea. They knew where presences dwelt and they named them.


They identified places which imposed a behaviour on those who approached them. All these things were a part of their life and handed on from generation to generation. The encounter with the land was constant and it shaped the people.


As the generations passed the stories and traditions grew. People remembered and sang of the lives of their forbears, of the triumphs and tragedies, and of the human relationships which occurred on the land and in relation to it


In 1897 Elsdon Best published an account of a journey through the Urewera to Waikaremoana . In that account he spoke of standing on the Huiarau range and looking over Waikaremoana while his guide Tutakangahau of Tamakaimoana sang a lament for the past.  Best's translation was as follows:-


“Hail ye lands of the rippling waters, hail the lands of the ancestors of Tuhoe and Nga Potiki. Hail children of the mountain whose bones lie beneath the dark waters in the burial caves of old on many a hard fought parekura. It is you O ancient Hatiti, who fell at Te Maire there below in lonely Whanganui. And you O Toko of the strong arm who died as man should die in battle with upraised weapon. O helpless women and little children whose bodies choked the cave of Tikitiki whose blood reddened the waters of Wai kotero your bones have long since been dust but the hearts of Tuhoe still remember you. Rest you in peace in your chamber of death beneath the silent waters of Waikare for the forest holds the crumbling walls of Nga Whakarara and from Te Ana o Tawa which darkens yon cliff at Te Ahi Titi methinks I yet hear across the waters the wail of Ruapani as we drove them through the gates of death as utu for your lives. Greetings to you O children of the mist for your kainga are silent and deserted and your lands trodden by a strange race. No smoke rises round the silent sea even from Te Mara o te Atua to te Korokoro o Tawhaki and I alone of your generation am left. I alone remain of the fighting men of old. Remain in peace O children for the strength I held to avenge you in days gone by has now passed away and the thought grows that this is the last time I shall climb this great ika whenua to greet you. E Noho ra.”


The language Best uses is more mannered than we use today but the effect is there. The land, the people and the happenings of the past are inseparably intertwined. We love this land Maori and Pakeha alike but we love it more when we are aware of its past and the associations which cluster about every inch of it. A whole dimension is added to our feeling for our homeland when we are aware of its past.


The life of Maori changed for ever when technology ended their long isolation. The explorations of the great sailors from the other side of the planet came about because of the advances their people were making not only in technology but in knowledge generally. It was inevitable that they would come and it was inevitable that what they brought would alter not only the world of the Maori but also their perception of it.


Perhaps there were explorers before Tasman, the records of whose voyages have been lost. Of this we can only speculate. Tasman was a forerunner and inspiration for those who followed but his own immediate impact was small. It was the voyages of Captain Cook which led directly to the subsequent history of this land. Captain Cook after a bad start, which he deeply regretted, made person to person contact with Maori and we were fortunate that such contact was made by a man who was deeply conscious of the rights and dignity of indigenous people. In view of the total ignorance of the two peoples, the one of the other, the relations between Maori and the people of Cook’s expeditions were much better than might have been expected and indicated a degree of tolerance on both sides which perhaps foreshadowed some at least of the future.


 Just as importantly however, Cook also was aware of the land.   Geoff Park points out Cook and others of his expeditions assessed the value of the land for colonization. For the first time land was seen in economic terms. A new perspective had arrived and would not go away.


But Cook saw the land in more than just economic terms.  In writing of the West Coast of the South Island he referred to” prodigious heights”, “ barren rocks”,  “snows that perhaps had lain since the creation”. He noted no country on earth could appear with a more rugged and barren aspect with mountains standing back behind wooded hills and valleys, and always hills rising from the sea.  Economic considerations may have been important but such a description could not have been written if the land had not imposed itself on Cook in other terms.


Other explorers followed Cook and the rivalries of the expanding Empires of Europe were not far behind. Nevertheless the next enduring encounters were with whalers, sealers, adventurers and escaped convicts from Australia (an early example of CER). What they principally brought was technology, products which were beyond the knowledge and experience of Maori to make. No doubt some made life easier and more comfortable but the principal contribution these people made to New Zealand was the introduction of muskets, which led to the musket wars, and consequences which are not forgotten today. They brought power without responsibility, and a lawlessness which was beyond the ability of traditional authority to control. Most were birds of passage. They came to make their fortunes and to return home when they had done so. For most this country and its inhabitants meant little other than a source of economic gain. Some however   came to trade and some for one reason or another settled   They became permanent or semi permanent members of the communities with which they were in contact and were sometimes absorbed by them. Their descendants are here today.


 These newcomers were followed by Christian missionaries. It has been fashionable to assert that Missionaries in various parts of the world were the advance agents of colonialists and those who wished to exploit the countries to which they came. It would be fairer to say that they saw our country through eyes and with the perspective of their own time.  They did not welcome European settlement and it would be totally wrong to assume that they were not sincere in their religious beliefs. Those required them to bring to all who had not heard the Christian Gospel an opportunity to achieve that salvation which they believed it brought and without which they believed people could not achieve salvation. We should remember too that when we analyse what they did we do so from the perspective of our time which has itself been moulded by their achievements and thinking, and by subsequent events. 


Above all they helped to bring to an end the hugely destructive wars which the availability of muskets had turned from tribal encounters into major slaughters.


 The Missionaries also brought technology and moreover technology with the power to initiate far greater change than the bringing of modern weapons.  They brought the printing press. Because they regarded the Bible as fundamental to their message a translation of it was essential. In order to make it generally available they had not only to learn the Maori language but to reduce it to writing and they then printed books of the Bible and distributed them. They also printed other material and distributed it.  It would be impossible to overestimate the effects of translation of the language, reduction of it to writing and then the making available of books by way of printing. The effect of making the Bible available in the vernacular in Europe is well documented. Its effects in this country were equally significant. When subsequently Maori began to produce and record, in written form their own material the Biblical legacy is apparent. The message which the Missionaries brought has been a significant aspect of Maori life ever since.


 The ability to read and write spread with great rapidity. When Bishop Williams visited Waikaremoana in 1840, the first European to do so, he found that Maori there could already read and write since they had sent local people to the coast to learn this skill. Those sent had returned to make it available to those who had never had any contact with Europeans. When William Colenso visited the area a year later he found people were asking for books. We should recognize just what an extraordinary achievement this indicated. People living in a stone age culture with no direct access to the technology now being brought to their land had not only learned an unheard of skill in a very short time but had also acquired the ability to pass on that skill to others.


The Missionaries and many others including Maori were increasingly concerned by the lawlessness and antisocial behaviour of other recent arrivals and the impossibility of controlling them with the traditional control structures of Maori. The sending of Busby as a resident achieved little in the absence of any means of enforcing any control over the people with whom he had to deal. If this was to be done effectively then it had to be done by the power of a state with the means and inclination to ensure compliance. It is against that background that Hobson was sent to New Zealand with British Naval Power behind him.  


The formal relationship between Maori and the British Crown   began in 1840 with the signing of the treaty at Waitangi.


There has been in recent times much analysis of what the words of the Treaty meant and were understood to mean in both English and Maori.  Views have been expressed as to what the participants had in mind whether openly or secretly. There has been research and speculation into the motivations of those who took part. I do not wish and am not qualified to enter onto those minefields. That is for others with the necessary expertise which I do not claim. Nevertheless it is worth referring again to the official attitude of the British Government as disclosed in official papers which if they do nothing else make it clear nothing was to be imposed on Maori.


 There has been much discussion and assertion as to the legal meaning and consequences of what was then done at Waitangi.


The views range from those expressed in the 19th century that the Treaty had no legal validity whatever, to those which assert it is a foundational constitutional document against which all subsequent governmental actions must be measured.


In a not untraditional way we have muddled through to a pragmatic situation where the Treaty is now seen as having great significance for both the signing partners. It has a living force which asserts itself.  The Treaty is a fact and it has survived.


William Colenso, who was present during the discussions preceding the signing, published in 1890, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Treaty, a small book which set out the notes he had made at the time as to what happened, what was said by whom and what took place. There has been some criticism of this record.   Plainly it has to be a selective account, the proceedings of days are condensed into a few pages, nor does he record what was said on subsequent occasions when the treaty was taken to other places and signed by other chiefs. Nevertheless it is a direct contemporary record.


Colenso says that Hobson before the signing took place  put an emphasis on the legal control which the Queen would impose on  British subjects already settled here and the protection which she would offer Maori people if the Treaty was signed.


There was disagreement among and opposition from Maori before signing took place. The clear concerns recorded by Colenso which stand out from the Maori speakers who spoke in opposition are, the need for justice to (and I quote) “remedy the selling, the exchanging, the cheating, the lying, the stealing of the whites”, a concern over the alienation of land, and a worry that chiefly status would be subordinated to that of the Crown. The overriding concern at least from the point of view of the Missionaries was the necessity to provide a degree of law and order in a society notorious for the lack of it. In the background, was a fear of other powers waiting in the wings.


It is important that these concerns were raised because any interpretation of the Treaty must bear them in mind.   When signing took place those signing were aware of those concerns and signed with that knowledge.


That was the first formal encounter between Maori and Pakeha. It was designed to regulate relations between the Crown and Maori as well as those others whose behaviour in part gave rise to it. It was of great significance that it was born from a concern for justice and protection, that it was freely signed, not as a result of coercion or conquest and that it contemplated a cooperative future. It was not an imposed Treaty or one signed because defeat left no option. and it was a Treaty built on hope for the future. It was a document which involved participation and the acceptance of responsibility from both parties and foreshadowed although not in so many words the repeated comments by our Court of Appeal 150 years later that it initiated a partnership. That is a concept which must be seen as a cornerstone for the building which the vision of the Foundation1 seeks to construct by the year 2040.


In Colenso’s account of the proceedings which led to the signing three concerns stand out.


 The principal one in the minds of most then present would have been that of Law and Order and Justice in a broad sense. Some authority with the necessary power had to exercise control over the lawless elements who had flocked to New Zealand in many cases precisely because it was lawless.  


As a result of the Treaty New Zealand has had since 1840 a justice system derived from the common law of England but adapted to take account of local conditions. The significance of Maori Custom on the development of a New Zealand Justice system has been the subject of enquiry. In the early years it must have been significant, following conflict it must have been lessened.    No doubt there were always problems of a lack of understanding on both sides and there have been examples of gross injustice from time to time. Nor is there any room for complacency over the fact that Maori today have disproportionate numbers in prison in our contemporary society. It should not be forgotten that in 1840 there was among Maori a total abhorrence of the concept of imprisonment.  There is a persistent belief in certain sections of Maori society that the whole system of criminal justice works against Maori in a prejudicial way.   There are some hopeful signs however that particular problems are being dealt with. Maori now play a part in the administration of justice to a greater extent than at any time since those first years.  While special Maori juries are not now constituted it would be an unusual jury in those parts of the country where there is a significant Maori population not to have Maori members. There are now Maori Judges, Maori Counsel, and Maori Police. Many administrators within the Department for Courts are Maori.  Legislation now often carries a belated recognition of the particular point of view of Maori.  No one would claim that the system is perfect and there is room for improvement but the acceptance of the principle of partnership and a recognition of the desirability of greater participation by Maori will hopefully lead by 2040 and perhaps long before to a situation where neither the administration of Justice nor Justice itself is seen as racially unbalanced. It is very encouraging that there are now so many young first rate Maori lawyers both male and female taking responsibility in every aspect of the law.


The acceptance of the fact that it is sensible to rehabilitate offenders by means which are culturally appropriate and the use of specifically Maori approaches to Maori in prison by making them aware of the culture from which they come, are encouraging signs.


As we approach the year 2040 our society ought to be continuing to work to remove imbalances and disadvantages in Society which lead to antisocial behaviour.  It ought not to be forgotten that before the wars Maori were involved in thriving and successful businesses in shipping and food production all of which came to an end with the fighting.


The second matter of concern raised before the signing was the alienation of land. Those speakers who opposed were in almost every case Maori who had sold or parted with the possession of land and regretted having done so. At least if what Colenso reported was correct that concern was based on economic loss. Land had begun to be seen in terms of exploitation as well as Turangawaewae.


 The land questions are far more complex than it is possible to discuss in a general lecture of this kind. When it comes to the concept of ownership it is enough to say that Maori concepts of land tenure differed markedly from that of the Europeans with whom they had begun to deal.


There were also problems over the intended permanency or otherwise of  transactions.  Some who sold may have done so in the belief that the land would be returned when the purchaser had no further personal need of it.


The problems as to land alienation were not solved by the Treaty and were subsequently exacerbated by the constant pressure of landless colonists who could not see why land which appeared to them to be completely waste and unused should not be made available for settlement. Nor was it always clear who had the right, or if anyone had the right to alienate land. Those problems led in the end to the wars which devastated relations between our peoples and soured development for so long.


The disputes over alienation and later confiscation or compulsory taking of land never went away, they never do. In some cases claims of injustice were the subject of repeated enquiries. Those claims first arose not long after the signing of the treaty itself.  It is a misconception by some Pakeha that such claims are recent. It is not unimportant however that some of these grievances were from very early times the subject of enquiry. The concerns were taken seriously enough for such steps to be taken even quite early on in our history.  Some are still the basis of claims before   the Waitangi Tribunal and to settlement negotiations with the Crown.


The economic questions arising from the value of land for production are in the process of resolution. What has not been satisfactorily resolved are those other aspects of land which relate to its significance in other ways. Its sacred nature and its association with particular beliefs which ought to find recognition in a society which has an understanding of and sympathy for the beliefs of others. In an increasingly secular world such aspects are often not seen as very significant particularly when they impact on economic questions yet they cannot and ought not to be lightly set aside. There has recently been sarcastic comment made over the need to recognize associations with Taniwha and the like as against the desire of authority to construct roads or buildings in the most economic manner and what is seen as the most suitable place. The recognition of the sacredness of certain places is common to all races and cultures, although not always in those terms, and the personification of such beliefs in forms unconvincing to those of different backgrounds and beliefs does not make them any the less important. It is interesting to note how often Maori beliefs relating to the land, expressed in mythological terms, parallel the conclusions of modern geology.  A concern for the preservation of buildings with historical or aesthetic significance and the keeping of open spaces seen by some as in the way of roads or other development is not uncommon with Pakeha and not dissimilar to the concerns of Maori with tapu land whether called by the name of Taniwha or not. In either case such a desire for preservation should not lightly be set aside, although there are times when this cannot be avoided.


It is encouraging that such concerns are now taken seriously by those making decisions. In 1946 at Waikaremoana engineers sought to blow up for rubble rocks of great significance to Maori (and as it happens also to Pakeha). A request by Maori elders not to do so was met with derision. The elders concerned took the matter to the Minister of Works and eventually the proposal was stopped. Today it is unthinkable that such a proposal would be put forward at all. We have come a long way since 1946 in considering the sensitivities of others. But not always. Not so long ago the repair of a road and bridge giving access to one of the most sacred sites in the North Island, important to Maori and Pakeha alike was trivialized and attacked in an ill-informed way as being unimportant economically and perhaps even involving some kind of corruption.  Nor is this all one sided. The tree on One Tree Hill had a significance for Aucklanders other than Maori. Pakeha too build associations into land. One is left with a suspicion that some concerns are seen as more valid than others. As we move forward together we need to take account of the sensitivities of each other.


The third question raised was that dealt with in the Treaty by the words " Tino Rangatiratanga".  That question ought to be debated and will not go away. I do not suggest an answer to it, it is a question which gives rise to emotional concerns and fears which need to be dispelled, but if in fact we are able to advance together towards 2040 in the right spirit that question too will be resolved.


Settlement had already begun well before 1840 although it had always been on Maori terms. Following the signing of the treaty it became a flood. The settlers of whatever origin did not come without cultural baggage of their own. Helen Waddell in her book "The Songs of the Wandering Scholars" collected and translated from the Latin in which they had been written, poems from the mediaeval period in Europe. She noted that the writers and composers of these songs   drew on sources going back to Homer and beyond. She spoke of them as originating in “The leaf-drift of history”


The Pakeha who came here brought such traditions whether they were aware of them or not and regardless of their level of education and background. They were built in.


Many of those who came over the succeeding years came from the Celtic background of Ireland and Scotland and they brought with them traditions preserved as they had been in folklore known to all sections of society and kept alive in the oral traditions sung or recited around the firesides and at gatherings of the people. Such traditions go back into the mists of time perhaps to the earliest days when as we now know from recent investigations of DNA our most remote ancestors both Maori and Pakeha first diverged in their wanderings over the earth from their common origins.


The settler’s traditions like those of the Maori were often linked to land and to the importance of place. One has only to think of the songs of England, Scotland and Ireland, which so often refer nostalgically to Mountains Rivers and streams, to draw an immediate parallel with the traditions of Maori. As the generations passed however the concept of home embedded in such memories changed .For those born and growing up in this country such references became tenuous. Home for us is here. Not in some remote part of Europe even if we have retained links there. The mountains of Mourne mean much less to us now than the great backbone of the fish. The kainga tupu, the place where we grew up has a powerful hold on most of us and this we have in common so that a recognition of it can provide a real bond as we move forward together.


Links with the other side of the world are not confined to those of wholly European descent.   There are many Maori today who have and are aware of such links and in their turn visit the source of that side of their ancestry. That too we have in common.


A recognition of the significance of traditional Maori mythology came very early in Pakeha settlement. The collection made by Sir George Gray was followed by many others over the years which followed. The stories contained in Maori tradition and mythology were widely available to Europeans and to their children. Such stories were and are often more significant to children in this country even without any Maori background than stories brought here from the very different conditions of Europe. That follows because they are stories associated with this land. Stories about wolves in the forests of Europe have little relevance to children brought up against the background of the New Zealand bush.  But if they are good stories they will survive.


Maori made their culture available to the newcomers but it is also true that the newcomers made their culture available to Maori. This came about initially through religion and the introduction of the Bible. Importantly also it came about through intermarriage which occurred from the beginning of contact. Later it came about through schools and education.  The cultures mingled from the beginning and it would now often be difficult to disentangle the effects which that has had.


Our European forebears embodied nostalgia in music and brought their folksongs with them to this country. Those songs have to a large extent, though not completely, now disappeared.   For many Europeans today the music which brings nostalgic tears to the eyes, when overseas, is Maori music. Maori have made a significant gift to this country and to the world in music.   Most Maori could play at least one musical instrument and often more than one. Maori have produced some of our greatest singers and continue to produce them in disproportionate numbers. To the extent that there is a genuine New Zealand folk music a high proportion of it, is of Maori origin. There is also however a significant amount of music both popular and serious now composed by both Maori and Pakeha which specifically relates to this land. At the same time ancient Maori music has survived and songs of tribal significance and of general provenance are still sung in the traditional way. They are not however so well known to Pakeha.  Maori have adopted and developed both traditions.  Pakeha have not done so to the same extent although there are significant exceptions.



The encounter by way of language is important. Communication during the first encounters depended on translation. Translation is quite inadequate for a more permanent relationship. Since Maori were at least initially the dominant majority the obligation to  learn Maori was paramount and it is certain that the earliest Europeans to come to this country had to learn Maori by way of a crash course to survive. The Missionaries to convey the message they had come to bring had to learn Maori in depth and did so.


The use of words from one language in the other was by no means one way.  The reports and writings of the early Missionaries contain many Maori words. This could have been expected when place names were involved but in fact the use goes beyond that. Where the Maori word was the most suitable that is what they used and subsequent generations have done the same. The reduction of Maori to a written form was important and the dictionary produced by William Williams was even more significant.


Following the signing of the treaty many early settlers who were in contact with Maori, also learned the language and it was common up until at least the end of the 19th century for Europeans living in areas where there was a significant number of Maori to learn some of the language.  Maori also was quick to borrow and some words of European origin have now become a permanent part of Maori.   The importance of this is that it indicates a continuing relationship between peoples even during and following the time of conflict.


More importantly the taking of words from one language to another introduces those who use them to the mental processes and thought forms of the speakers from whose language they came. It would   be impossible for there to be no long term effect even if that effect was unconscious.


The withdrawal of Maori after the wars and the increasing domination of the European settlers combined with the reduction in numbers of the Maori population slowed down this process but did not erase it. Even although Europeans may have for a time ceased to have such close contact with Maori, and the use of the language appeared to lose the utility which it had at the beginning of contact, the absorption of it by way of names, songs and vocabulary had gone too far for it to disappear. Even amongst Europeans.


Unfortunately as the balance of population changed the access of newer settlers to the Maori language became much less.  Since there was no longer any economic need to use the Maori language the majority of Pakeha had little or no knowledge of Maori and for some generations could not see any advantage in learning any. 


 Since Maori is the language of the land there is every reason for the whole population to have at least a smattering of it. It is a very sad thing when people living in a country are unable to correctly pronounce the names of the physical features of the land and the towns in which they live. It is also insensitive to be unable to pronounce the names of those who share the land.


There are however signs that this is changing. The renaissance of the language among Maori through the Kohanga Reo and the Kura Kaupapa and Total Immersion schools  shows that the Maori language is very much alive and in the beauty of its tradition has much to offer. Added to this is the sheer educational advantage of having a second language or at least a smattering of one. Many people do not even now realize that Maori have for 150 years needed to be and mostly have been bi- lingual. Most people of European descent are mono-lingual and therefore do not have the intellectual stimulus and language discipline of understanding the structures and grammar even of the language they themselves speak. They do not have the facility of expression that such an understanding brings. It should also be remembered that the question” what is the use of it,” is of much less significance than the questions “ what does familiarity with the language open up” and “what is the effect on the speaker of having available the thought patterns of more than one language”. The Maori language is now available as a subject in many schools where Maori was once never heard and cultural groups involve students who in previous generations would never have come across this aspect of our New Zealand Heritage. 


Language leads into a consideration of poetry. Although there are many definitions of poetry, for my purpose it is enough to say it is essential for the expression and communication of the deepest meanings from the thought of one person to others. It is the use of words at their greatest degree of intensity. Both Maori and Pakeha would have a greater understanding of each other if they had access to the poetry which expresses the deepest feelings and insights of each other. Maori being bi-lingual have had access to English poetry but Europeans did not and mostly do not have access to Maori poetry which conveys and defines relationship to this land. It is worth noting however that the poetic tradition in this country is strong and both Maori and Pakeha now write, and perform, poetry which is specifically of this country and reflects the joint tradition which was always available but not always appreciated.


Children in this country both Maori and Pakeha have always gone to the same schools and formed friendships there which have lasted during the lifetimes of those who made them. We never had that segregation which has been the bane of other countries.


We have always played sport together on equal terms and the bonding which occurs in teams and in sport generally has been a matter of significance since we first began to play sport. Our worthwhile sports clubs and associations have always been multiracial and New Zealanders have always played sport together. The playing of sport as representatives of one country and one society has been of great significance in recent times.  In January of this year the Rev Douglas Storkey died. He was one of those who initiated opposition to All Black Teams going to South Africa without Maori members and he did so in a sermon which received nationwide publicity. There are societies in the world where this could not have happened. 


When considering encounters it would not do to forget that Maori and Pakeha fought alongside each other in a number of wars overseas. One of the more moving sights in this country is the Memorial Board in the Church at Tikitiki with its long list of names from what is in terms of population a tiny district.  I do not believe there is any other country in the world which can show the equivalent. A shared endeavour brings people together in a very significant way particularly one which posed such constant danger and where each person was so dependant on others.


The coming together of more than one tradition has been enriching rather than debilitating and on the whole the Maori traditions which relate directly to this country and this land have tended to become those best known to the people who live here. This kind of cultural fusion and development is of itself encouraging for the future. Its absence is a feature of those countries where separate cultures have not integrated and separation has led to hostility.


There have been enormous changes in attitude and outlook in both peoples over the past thirty or forty years. For many years Pakeha believed, and were taught, that this country was a model for race relations and that all was well in God’s own country. The protest movements among Maori which more recently developed have shaken the complacency of Pakeha and made it clear that Maori grievances are real and will not go away unless properly understood and justly dealt with.  Although upsetting to the security of some these were matters which needed to be faced and dealt with and there are many initiatives which have been directed to some resolution of the concerns which have been identified, initiatives which would have been unthinkable only a generation ago.


Perhaps the most significant step which has been taken was the setting up of the Waitangi Tribunal in order to deal with the grievances and injustices of the past by investigating them, by bringing them to the attention of the authorities and taking steps to resolve them by compensation and restoration. The enlarging of the jurisdiction of the Tribunal to ensure that historic grievances were dealt with was an important step forward. We do not want in this country to nurse grievances for hundreds of years as has happened elsewhere.


Quite apart from the settlement of grievances the recognition of their existence has of itself helped to bring us closer together and as we look towards 2040  we must work to the elimination of all those hurts from the past which might sour our relationship for the future.


What I have endeavoured to do so far is to indicate the extent to which consciously and unconsciously the presence together of the two peoples in the one land and under the influence of the land has lead to compromise and the exchange of ideas  to the extent that the standards and values of both are now better understood and accepted. And many more are mutual.


I want now to mention a small  number of individual encounters because they illustrate what has been occurring without fuss or publicity.


In 1971 an invitation came from the  Waimana  Maori Presbyterian congregation in the Bay of Plenty to the Presbyterian Congregation in Havelock North for those who wished to to make a visit to the Waimana community. The invitation  contemplated the visitors staying in the Wharenui at Piripari, at Tanatana.


The invitation came at the instigation of the late John Rangihau. Some 40 people from Havelock North traveled by car and bus to Waimana and were accommodated at the Meeting house.  They slept in the house with an equivalent number of local people most of whom had never met before. The Maori hosts had never had such a gathering of Pakeha to cope with. The Pakeha visitors had never in most cases experienced hospitality of that kind. Some of the hosts spoke no English, most of the guests spoke no Maori. They were of all ages from both communities from the very young to the very old. Both communities were apprehensive. Most from Havelock North had never been on a Marae before let alone slept in a Wharenui.  They had little idea of the kawa. The Waimana people were concerned because they did not know how Europeans would react to conditions which they were aware were remote from their experience.


The weekend was a resounding success. After a rather shy start people quickly made friends working together (when the visitors were allowed to do so) touring the District and being told of its history.   The Saturday night was devoted to singing dancing and action songs. All went to the small Tanatana Church on the Sunday morning and when the time came to set off for home there was genuine emotion from both groups.


Not long after the first visit the people from Tanatana came to Havelock North. Because they now knew the people to whom they were coming  a considerable number came and were accommodated in the Church hall which was set up for sleeping and where they were joined by local people. Again the ope and the hosts consisted of people of all ages from babies to Kaumatua. The programme was similar. There were no communication difficulties. There was enough goodwill to cross all barriers including that of language.


The visits continued and on the third visit from Waimana the people from there, were at the suggestion of their elders, billeted with people in Havelock North. They were not told in advance that this would be done and they found out only on arrival.  They were horrified at first, many having never stayed in a Pakeha house. The visits were again a huge success. The fears of the unknown were gone for ever and those involved realized that the differences and embarrassments they had expected were illusionary.


The people from Havelock North traveled on one occasion to Maungapohatu and having spent a rather short night in the Wharenui walked down the 6 foot track through the bush to Tauwharemanuka with a guide from Waimana where they were met by local people.


In 1990 as a celebration of the 150 years from the signing of the Treaty this trip was repeated. On this occasion the people from Havelock North were joined by people from the Heretaunga Maori pastorate.  All stayed at Maungapohatu, walking together to Tawhana and then to Tanatana. Coming out of the bush at dusk and looking down to the lights at Tawhana in its bush clearing was a magical experience.


The relationships built over these visits have endured between families to this day. People attend celebrations and family occasions of each other and although population changes have made such visits between those two parishes no longer possible the personal relationships continue.


Other parishes also followed on with such interchanges.


There is nothing very unusual now about a Marae visit. Many take place in the hope that those unfamiliar with such experiences will become more accustomed to a different way of doing things and benefit accordingly. The important thing about the visits I have described is that they took place not only well before such visits became common but more importantly were reciprocal. Not only did the Pakeha visit the marae but the Maori visited the Pakeha in Pakeha conditions. This was a true illustration of our peoples coming together. 


I hope that as a part of the 2040 celebrations people will again visit the Maunga tapu Maungapohatu together and walk through the bush to Tawhana seeing it as a joint heritage appreciated by all who participate.


In 1971 the late Duncan MacIntyre as Minister of Maori Affairs travelled to Ruatahuna with his wife to receive in person the concerns of the Tuhoe people. It is important to emphasize that as Minister of Maori Affairs he did not expect them to come to him at his office in Wellington, which would have been general practice, but he went to the heart of the Urewera and stayed there overnight at Te Whai o te Motu with his wife, sleeping in the house, so that the concerns and grievances of Tuhoe could be put to him direct in a Maori setting in Maori fashion. Having heard what was said he responded indicating what he could and could not do. That one visit took relations with the Government further than any number of speeches or policies elsewhere. It also provided a means of improving relations with Pakeha generally and had results which continued long after he had ceased to be Minister.


The fact that not all grievances were met or that many questions remain outstanding is less important than the personal relationships which were cemented on that occasion.


The aim of the Foundation2 is to look to the future. I do not suggest that those illustrations to which I have referred are necessarily the only ways to move forward. There will be many different initiatives which meet particular needs as they develop and are suited to the communities of the future. What was right for my generation will not do for those to come with different needs and concerns and different ways of life. What is important is that we should continue to come together with minds open to see that different traditions are enriching not divisive and to emphasize that we come together from a base of commonalty much broader than that of which we are always aware.


We must be open to new ideas and new thinking to build and develop new opportunities suited to the changes time will bring but we must not lose sight of the results which come from reciprocity. That has been a feature of the contacts and responses from the first encounters.


The injustices which occurred in the past must be put right and put to rest, not chewed over like an old bone. Nor must they be renewed for reasons of gain.


Justice itself must be so developed that it can be seen genuinely to apply equally to all.


The dignity of all must be accepted and enhanced.


We must become aware of and foster the cultural traditions of each other. What is needed is diversity not absorption.


We must not forget the significance of language both to preserve that culture from which it springs and to encourage the emergence of what is yet to come.


Music, Poetry and Sport of whatever kind will bring us together as they have in the past.


Above all we must pursue personal encounters on terms acceptable to the other partner.


I realize that I have said little about other contributors to our joint future. This is because the Treaty was signed between Maori and The Crown, but there is nothing I have said which does not apply to those other later contributors to our society who have much to add as a new community develops.


There is one further factor that it would be wrong to overlook. Indeed from some points of view it is the most important of all.


At Christmas 2002 my family sat down to Christmas dinner with those present being in numbers about half Maori and half Pakeha. The Pakeha were of Irish, English and Dutch origin. The ages ranged from 1 to 90.  That is a New Zealand family every member of which sees him or herself as a New Zealander for whom Aotearoa is home. That is the kind of future I hope for. A future where there is room in one family and in one home for many divergent threads. There are indeed many threads which go through the eye of a needle but the cloth when good is one showing and retaining all. Let us hope that the greatness of Aotearoa by 2040 is the greatness of unity in diversity and where whatever our background we see that our land is home to all.


Anei ra kua takoto i a au taku manuka, kei a koutou i naianei- tena koa kawea ake,kia tina!

1 The F.I.R.S.T. Foundation, The Foundation for Indigenous Research in Society & Technology,

 Nga Kaitaunaki Rangahau Iwi Tuatahi Puta I Te Ao

2 The F.I.R.S.T. Foundation, The Foundation for Indigenous Research in Society & Technology

Ngai Kaitaunaki Rangahau Iwi Tuatahi Puta I Te Ao

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