Sunday, May 29, 2011

Is Maori secularism ever offered?

I suppose you and I will be paying for this:

A new parenting programme targeted at Maori tells them they are inherently loving and nurturing caregivers and family violence has arisen only because of European missionaries.


The pivotal point is should the way people behave be based on reason or faith? Or perhaps a mix of both?

"Maori people want to see their own culture reflected in programmes. This is uniquely Maori and is based on our history and legends. It gives us a whole lot of values that possibly many of us didn't realise we had."

Plans are under way for Plunket to pilot the programme in Hamilton. The report researched the treatment of children using oral histories, poems, and European observations.

It traced Maori history from the separation of Ranginui the Sky Father and Papatuanuku the Earth Mother through to early Europeans' reports of children's relationships with whanau.

Mythology has long been used by all cultures to teach and provide meaning. This practice seems to particularly appeal to Maori. Or is that just the imression we get?

Surely Maori secularism also exists? But I remember a recent post where I referred to the Maori all- or- nothing view, "the scared or the profane", acknowledged in a public service policy document. So is secularism only ever bad in Maori eyes?

My secularism is based on reason. I trust myself before I trust anything I can't see or hear evidence of. But I don't think I am lacking in some degree of spiritualism which I find in music, art and nature. And, when I think about it, my love for my children who are an essential part of my wholeness emotionally.

So why would I ever abuse or neglect them? My reason tells me to do so would be an act against myself.

Isn't that what troubled people need to understand? Forget all the extraneous stuff about "you are like this because aliens taught you to be a hundred years ago."

You are in control. It's your life and you own it. The change has to come from within the individual. Otherwise when it all goes pear-shaped the out is to go on blaming someone else.

Maori culture, as described in this article, is positive. But its absence leaves a vacuum. Maori need to work on filling that vacuum with some grounded, here and now, cause and effect, education.


FF said...

Paul Moon at AUT seems to be the only academic who stands up to this nonsense.
I am amazed he still has his job!
Maori might have been OK parents with their own children considering the culture of the time,
But oral histories themselves are full of references to shocking cruelty to other peoples’ and tribes’ children.

Anonymous said...

And missionaries are famous for murdering their children.

Kiwiwit said...

Imagine if a state-funded programme was teaching European-NZ parents that their violence against children was the consequence of exposure to the vicious, tribal, enslaving, cannibalistic, Maori culture.

Swimming said...

interesting that this report was commissioned by the very group that helped organise a hui on Maori child abuse that stated "We must stop blaming colonisation. It is time for us to take responsibility".

So they undertake research to blame colonisation.