Monday, 1 November 2010


We have been harping on about the crap Maori leaders who do a lot of schmoozing and grooving but bugger all to guide their own people out of the poverty pit.

But two recent pronouncements have given us some hope. One , from Mark Solomon, sounds good and wise , but anything from Mark needs to be considered against the backdrop of his fragile leadership. It has the feel of an orchestrated PR campaign.

However, despite the motivation, it is fantastic that Ngai Tahu's big cheese is finally calling for the tribe to tackle domestic violence. Excellent. Now we expect him to follow with some more unpalatable truths, like too many of the tribe have gang affiliations and he needs to condemn them too. And that poverty is still a big issue.So a good start from Solomon. But now we have heard what he thinks we want to know what he is going to do .

Iif Solomon's admittance, that it was time for Maori to take ownership of the issues that Maori have been trying to blame on everyone else wasn't a big and happy surprise , it was a bigger andhappier surprise when Pita Sharples followed suit.

The story is in the Dom this morning and the headline "Put health before beaches says Sharples" - gives you the picture. We think that this speech is a turning point for the party. It is an acknowledgment of what really matters to the rank and file.
It shows that there are many more things that will change the destiny of Maori than some technical access and ownership to some land that is well used and cared for now.

"For many of my friends they dont even know whats going on with the foreshore and seabed......

But they know whats going on at home when they are hungry.

They know whats going on at home when then havent got jobs....

These are the sorts of things that our people are dealing with day to day and thats why I really would like us to think why we are in parliament.

There were a few good stories in the media this morning but none more important than Sharples telling the Maori Party Conference that the issues of health and crime were far more important to Maori than beaches.

It is the best thing that Sharples has said for a bloody long time. The grievances of old need to be sorted but in terms of priority, diabetes, domestic violence, infanticide, education and drugs merit more effort and attention.

Maori dont need to "own the beaches" to feel better or have a better life. But they do need to own the social problems they are facing collectively and individually.

As two of the more prominent Maori leaders have now put this issue on the the nations paepae
we think that the debate will gain some momentum. Whanau Ora could well be the start. Ad it begs the question - Is this the beginning of the true Maori renaissance?

1 comment:

Writer Of The Purple Sage said...

I've been saying this for months! Doessn't vindication feel soooooooo good!!