Ugly side of NZ during election campaign
3 September 2005
We are indeed seeing the ugly side of New Zealand behaviour during this election campaign, with the politicians stirring up the racist fears and prejudices of a populace which, like the said politicians, is seemingly ignorant of the history of this country.
Not only is ignorance of the history displayed but also ignorance of the effects and consequences of colonisation, the significance of the Treaty of Waitangi to us all, and the way the Waitangi Tribunal works and claims are dealt with.
This is a sad reflection on our education, or should it be on those who decide our school curriculum and consider it not necessary for us to learn our own history.
If it is a deliberate ploy by some politicians to stir up racial prejudice and animosity between the various cultures, and particularly animosity towards Maori, who after all are the original settlers and have a right to be acknowledged as such, it is a very dangerous game that is being played. It can only lead to a divided community with no social cohesion and possibly to violence.
There is absolutely no need for this. In my experience, and on a day-to-day basis we can all get on well together. So many of us are related across cultures that it is in the best interests of us all to acknowledge, respect and promote the values of all. What a boring country it would be if we were all one people, all New Zealanders, like the ones that insist that we are!