I have 5 wishes for Waitangi day 2019.
1 – Pakeha start seeing the Treaty as a strength
As NZ starts getting exploited by our free trade economic super structure, it’s time that Pakeha concerned about our economic sovereignty started seeing the Treaty as protecting their interests as well as Māori.
If Māori ownership over public rights and access issues are entrenched and those public rights and access issues extend to Pakeha, as the Treaty implies, then they supersede Free Trade deals that allow the exploitation of those rights.
The Treaty states in gloriously unique Kiwi simplicity and egalitarian beauty the values of who we are as a people. It states clearly the obligations of relationship between the state and its citizens. It is the States primary obligation to protect the agency of everyone through collective agreement.
We don’t have the articulated biblical vision of mountain tops or philosophical rhetoric of a declaration, we have a plain spoken authenticity of the State’s kaupapa obligations to the individual and the community.
The sooner Pakeha start seeing the strength of the Treaty to protect all our rights, the stronger our sovereignty will be.
2 – Stop thinking of us as a Country, start redefining ourselves as an Island
We live with this delusion of us being a country. It stains every aspect of our economy, politics and culture. The arrogance of a ‘country’ is that there is supposedly some mighty superstructure of public service to weave together a coherent check and balance to the levers of representative democracy. It conjures up complex technocrats and academics adding oversight and imagination to the structure of state.
The truth is that our public service and agencies of state are deeply damaged and warped from the 30 year neoliberal experiment, and that our mindset, politically, culturally and economically of a country robs us of our responsibility for individual civic engagement, because some other check and balance down the super structure of the ‘country’ will step in and fix problems.
Thinking of ourselves as an island is Immediately solidarity building and forces us too think about New Zealand Aotearoa from a sustainability mindset. From individualised fetishisation to community consciousness in one easy reframing.
We have been conned into believing we are a country to disconnect ourselves from the nerve-system of our democracy.
By reframing our mindset to that of an Island is a Kiwi Nationalism and self agency that is a true and organic expression of tino rangatiratanga.
3 – Aotearoa New Zealand Mates Day
I wish we could have a Monday public holiday that was Aotearoa NZ mates day which was a celebration of volunteering. If we want a culture and society that celebrates working together to solve and help our issues, a public holiday every year where people volunteered to help clean up a beach, or plant trees or help people in society, or animals.
Imagine all the Captains of Industry within NZ who would want to get involved with sponsoring and supporting volunteer efforts around the country?
Building up a culture that values helping others requires active promotion of that value, hence making it a public holiday, and before you scream about the cost to business, here…
…the business environment is doing fine thanks.
Make it the first Monday of Autumn or something. Sure you don’t have to volunteer, you can just take the public holiday and do nothing, but if you do volunteer on the day, you get a self-selected day in lieu.
4 – Make election day a mid week public holiday
While we are talking about making a new public holiday celebrating volunteerism, let’s make the election a Wednesday every 3 years and make it a public holiday. Again, build up our public engagement, celebrate our unique democracy.
There are many places around the world where democracy is a lie and a corrupt pretence. NZ is blessed enough to agree to the transfer of power without violence or intimidation. That’s a thing to celebrate and making the election a mid week public holiday entrenches our engagement while celebrating our values.
5- Appreciate how manufactured Don Brash’s Orewa Speech was.
Brash’s Orewa speech continues to be a stain on the intellectual landscape of our social environment. The majority of New Zealander’s still have no idea how manufactured that Orewa Speech really was. I believe the vast majority of NZers would feel horrifically conned once they appreciated how manipulated they were into believing Māori had special rights or privileges.
We now that Brash and his advisors manufactured a spiteful political message because the emails between Brash and his advisers were leaked to Nicky Hager and paint a picture of people who knew that what they were about to say regarding Māori was a fabrication.
Read Willie Jackson’s Orewa Speech response to Brash to appreciate how manufactured that entire episode was.
The sooner we can all acknowledge the negative and spiteful fallout from that Speech and accept the lies its legacy has caused, the sooner we can as a nation heal wrongs and live up to the egalitarian promise of our founding.