My experience of John Ansell is of a genuine, somewhat obsessive, totally honest individual. I haven't swung in heavily behind his colourblind campaign because it's misunderstood. That's not John's fault. It's those seeing or hearing what they want and not what he puts in front of them. Plus talking about Maori privilege always seems slightly absurd taken at face value. Those featuring overwhelmingly in all the worst social statistics are Maori.
But there is undoubtedly privilege in its strictest sense of the word. And particularly amongst those benefiting handsomely from the Treaty industry. The propagators of a supreme tangata whenua culture and tribalism have driven many away, not least non-politicised Maori. Yes, you might argue that Pakeha have propagated their culture as supreme since inhabiting New Zealand but two wrongs do not make a right. Why are Christian beliefs any better than Maori spiritual beliefs? They are after all just that. Articles of faith.
Apirana Ngata had it right. Maori should take those elements of European institutions that work for them while preserving their own language and customs.
I'm a strong supporter of the retention of te reo and would love to be able to speak it myself but again these are matters of choice. You cannot make people do things that they do not want to. So when the push to grow te reo falls short it isn't anyone's fault but individuals. As soon as blame starts getting thrown around the accuser has slipped into what John is attacking. The grievance mode. Some Maori grieve about not only the past but the present. Constantly.
Grieving is necessary for a time. But when people become locked into grieving it suffocates them. They can't move forward and neither can the people they infect.
John has dedicated himself to attacking the Grievers by educating people about the history of Maori and European, to expose what he sees as propaganda via a reconstructed past and achieving true racial equality before the law. I believe he is driving this campaign because he feels he has no choice. He feels utterly, personally compelled to speak out.
He's taken on a mammoth challenge and he's not far from financially broke. I just hope his campaign doesn't break him psychologically. He could surely do without personal attacks on his integrity.
May 24 in history
41 minutes ago