Activism: Waitangi Day

JulianP's picture
Submitted by JulianP on Tue, 2006-02-07 04:06

Well, I've just come back from the Libertarianz activism at Waitangi. Spirits ran high, but it was noticeably more peaceful than last year. Yes, there were the usual displays of tribalism, marching, chanting and a heavy police presence.

For such a small group of people, we always seem to attract a lot of attention. The big 'END WAITANGI APARTHEID' banner might have something to do with it. Smiling Usually people just stare and give us a wide berth. Some angry people sometimes berate us, but it was not nearly as bad as last year. And there were also the brilliant conversations we had with people who ended up agreeing with the common sense of what we said.

Tim said that our views on the unfairness of treaty racism in New Zealand are becoming mainstream. About time, I reckon. To go down this path of institutionalised racism and segregation is madness. I'm glad that more people are seeing this.

Anyway, we left the grounds just as a big crowd of chanting protesters arrayed themselves in front of the big marae, ignoring the police around the flagpole a hundred metres away. We had done our bit for freedom, and left the mob to their own devices.

Here are a few photos:

Tim explaining what we're all about:

Hooch (Helen Hughes), Tim, and two angry French girls who were outraged that we didn't see the beauty of primitive Maori culture - multiculturalism personified:

Notice the two policemen in the background. They are eagerly reading the Libz pamphlet and Tim's flyer for Waitangi '06. Smiling Here is the flyer:
(Cartoon courtesy of Nick Kim and The Free Radical.)

Me, blogging in the field:

Police standing around the flag pole, prepared for the worst:

Here come the racists:

Hey look! They by-passed the flagpole and the police, and went to the nearby marae, where they did some hakas:

We left at this point. All in all, a great day.

Thanks to Morgan for taking some of the photos, and for lending me his camera. My deep gratitude to everybody who came along, especially Tim Wikiriwhi. Thanks to him, I went to last year's Waitangi Day protest, and that intense experience led me to become much more active in the Libz.

There is a battle of ideas going on. Don't stay on the sidelines!

950 years Before Cook?

David Bertelsen's picture

Good work! Wonderful to see you back there - I hope to join you next year.

I noticed the big MAORITANGA - EST 950 years before Cook sign.

This brings up a lot of issues.

Firstly, a group of people on a far away island is an autarky by necessity and simply doesn't develop or get civilised very quickly. So Maoritanga as such is a fairly limited body of chants, unwritten language and primitive tools and hardly something to be enormously proud of amongst the greater scheme of all that civilisation has brought us. Not knocking the individuals that survived that time - they probably did well given their situation, but their situation was not conducive to development, and non-development was indeed the outcome.

Secondly, there is a growing body of evidence that Maori were NOT the original settlers of NZ. See this article and many more like it. Despite a reluctance among NZ historians, maori and government organisations to open this can of worms, evidence is beginning to accumulate that Chinese and others were settled Before Cook also. What will that mean for NZ's "indigenous cultcha"... Dim Sum as our Waitangi Day national meal?

Thirdly. (and making my second point irrelevant), WHO the hell cares who got there first?


Charles Henrikson's picture

That Racist photo is particularly unnerving... its almost like they took that shot out of Bravehart.

Thanks Linz!

JulianP's picture

Thanks Linz! Smiling

And you'd be surprised, Duncan. It was not like last year. There was a huge number of gawkers and tourists. Have a closer look at that last photo. It wasn't just angry separatists, thank goodness... Smiling

You should come along next time. It's just not the same without you. Smiling


Well done Julian!

Duncan Bayne's picture

You held the banner of Liberty high! Well done indeed! I have to ask though - what on earth were the French girls doing there? Were they lost, or something?

Bravo again, Julian!

Lindsay Perigo's picture

To you & Tim. Inspirational.

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