Friday, February 02, 2007

Nature enter me

So Waitangi day is almost upon us in all its cringing glory. It sparks conversation even here in the paragon of white New Zealand – Ballantynes. And my co-workers were discussing Treaty claims along the lines of “if the Maoris (sic) had been treated like the Aboriginals in Australia, they’d really have something to complain about”.

And I mean, who can argue with this logic? I think all white New Zealand should give ourselves a big pat on the back for our moral fortitude in not perpetrating mass murder upon the Maori. I mean, how dare they complain about a little land theft, when we magnanimously left them with their lives? Well, ya know, mostly.

I’m still extracting my fingernails out of my palms and my teeth out of my upper jaw. As Simona so wisely advises:

Word on the street has it that one should just stay out of ignorant race based discussions and explain them away with the fact that people are simply poorly educated (which is not one’s responsibility to fix)

As (co worker) Paul says “you make me tired”

32 comments:

Andrew Brown said...

I can't work out if you're being sarcastic or not..

Actually, I just re-read it and realised you were being sarcastic.

But what I really want to know, Sharyn, is how you feel about it. I know how I feel about it (I think it's a now irrelevant document), but how do you feel about it.

Sharyn said...

Well, I’m not sure I want to get into this conversation or not. For one thing, it’s a very emotive and divisive issue and I don’t feel comfortable talking about it. For another thing, I’m not very well informed. I haven’t studied the Treaty except in the context of Youth Work.

However, let me say how I see it.

Firstly, it would be very convenient for the treaty to be irrelevant. But, as with most things, I think the truth is more inconvenient. I’m not sure of your reasoning, but perhaps it’s because the treaty was between Maori and the British government rather than the current state of governance. If so, I can see where you’re coming from, but I disagree.

Secondly, I think it’s an incredibly important document – it is unique and has the potential to represent a special and valuable relationship. The idea is good, through and through, and if it worked poorly, that doesn’t mean it’s irredeemable.

Thirdly, the Waitangi tribunal claims are of the utmost importance.

Fourthly, the Treaty HAS created a lot of issues and tension. The one that I understand best is how it pertains to conversations about nationhood in New Zealand. The Treaty means that these discussions carry on between Maori and the Crown. The Crown, then, is understood to represent Pakeha New Zealand. This is obviously very problematic on several levels. The Crown is supposed to represent Maori as well now for starters. It also means that Pakeha New Zealand is excluded from these discussions in a sense. This leads to a lot of resentment.

I don’t think the Treaty is irrelevant, as I imagine you assumed. The Treaty gives Pakeha New Zealanders a place to stand here. The Treaty represents a relationship between equal partners. The Treaty recognizes the special place Maori have here. The Treaty recognizes difference but gives us a platform to move forward together. It’s not unproblematic – there are many complicated things to work through. But it’s something we can use to start building a future that actually works here.

That’s what I feel, pick me to pieces if you will.

Andrew Brown said...

The "problem" with the treaty isn't the treaty itself but the entire attitude that goes along with it.

I agree any wrongdoings should be settled. But a date should be given, all claims have to be made by that date, and then it should finish FOREVER. Currently, it brings nothing but disharmony.

It's the attitude that maori need a hand up that is the problem. People claim that maori are mis-represented in statistics (not enough maori in uni, too many in jail etc) but that's not a "problem" that needs to be "fixed", the problem is that people think that any group ever requires special attention unless they physically require it.

I'm not racist. I have no problem with maori people at all. I support their want to retain their culture. I don't think they need special treatment in way shape or form. It's racist to claim they do because then you're separating people based on race. And by doing so you only extend the problem.

You know Sharyn, I've really struggled to not say how I really think certain groups see the treaty. I'm particularly unsympathetic to any particular groups.

I know you didn't want to argue, I don't either. We'll probably disagree forever on a topic like this. I'll leave it at that. And maybe you just don't understand my desperation to have another fruitless discussion with you ;)

Sharyn said...

Okay, I understand all that - I know a lot of people think like that and on a simplistic level, all things being equal, it's fair enough.

The fundemental problem with your argument lies in this idea of a 'level playing field'. The past isn't a closed door - decisions that have been made in the past effect current generations. Many political decisions that were made a century, a decade, a couple of years ago actually have ongoing effects. And certian groups are disproportionately effected by them. When governments make decisions that mean groups, entire sections of society are badly effected (and therefore disproportionatelly represented in the stats), at some stage they have to step in and fix it. Maori are not over represented because Maori are inherently stupid or lazy or criminal. Obviously you don't think that. So, if that's not true, then there's clearly a problem somewhere, and one that can and should be fixed.

It's also important to note that it IS being fixed - that the stats are improving, that things are getting better for Maori.

Look, smarter people than you or I have debated it and if you read around and study up some history I think you'll find that the world is not so neat and tidy as you'd like. New Zealand history is really not like you learn in school, at least not how I learned it. And it presents us with unique challanges and opportunities. (Oh crap I sound like a loony emergent pomo)

Iain said...

Yes you do, Sharyn, but only because you *ARE* a loony emergent pomo.

I agree with both of you. Wait, no, I agree with Sharyn and "feel" for Andrew.

Arguing over such issues ends up being much akin to a boxing match where you spend half the time smacking yourself in the head.

This is because there are many tensions involved, and the various issues are extremely faceted.

Since I'm the smarter person than you both that Sharyn warned you about, allow me to have my two cents :P

One thing that I intensely dislike is the stereotypical discourses that arise in conversations about the Treaty. Such comments about what constitutes a 'real Maori', the talk of 'good' Maori and 'bad' Maori, the broad and suppressive argument/plea for 'One Nation' that doesn't actually respond to any actual issues or concerns.

There are two parts of me, however:

One half says, "Hey, what on earth is the treaty *to me*. Why do we have to have any grievances at all? That person complaining wasn't born in the 1850s any more than I was, we're both NZers, can't we all just live our lives and stop angsting?"
This is the half of me that is bemused about how people can weave some kind of culturally-remembered pain into their identity, even if they didn't experience any personal problems any more than I have.

The other half thinks that there are real concerns raised about how the two translations (Maori and English) didn't quick match up, putting a shifty one over on the Maori.
This half is also concerned about how systemic evil and prejudice is ingrained in society and people aren't doing a thing about it because its not their problem. In fact, some people think that poor-ness and domestic violence is merely the genetic 'lot' of Pacific Islanders and Maori. Aren't we more intelligent than that?
This half of me also thinks, like Sharyn, that the Treaty applies beneficially to everybody. When the dominant member of the status quo loses privalege in order to become equal with others it might feel like a loss, but it is only a perceived loss not a 'real' one. If Pakeha people feel threatened by having to hop down one rung from their perch maybe they first need to think about where they are relative to others before complaining about it.

As a side note I find it quite amusing that Sharyn posts something about this and then says 'but actually i don't want to talk about it' :P

Good topic, look forward to replies.

Iain said...

p.s. Sharyn, Deb's bloglink and your Mum's bloglink are incorrectly entered.

You need to take off one / from their address, currently they end in // which makes it stuff up. Or, alternatively, you could take off the /'s completely, it still works that way.

Andrew Brown said...

Shaz sez When governments make decisions that mean groups, entire sections of society are badly effected, at some stage they have to step in and fix it.

I guess I just don't see how right now maori are badly effected. I don't see how they have any disadvantage that needs fixing right now???

I did a bit of study on it earlier on this evening, in preperation of this!

Iain sez This half is also concerned about how systemic evil and prejudice is ingrained in society and people aren't doing a thing about it because its not their problem. In fact, some people think that poor-ness and domestic violence is merely the genetic 'lot' of Pacific Islanders and Maori. Aren't we more intelligent than that?
This half of me also thinks, like Sharyn, that the Treaty applies beneficially to everybody. When the dominant member of the status quo loses privalege in order to become equal with others it might feel like a loss, but it is only a perceived loss not a 'real' one. If Pakeha people feel threatened by having to hop down one rung from their perch maybe they first need to think about where they are relative to others before complaining about it.


I have some major issues with what you say here. What's this systematic evil you talk of and this prejudice? (On a tangent, it's actually inherently wrong to tell someone to not be prejudice in a country with freedom of thought and speech, even if it's wrong)

And pakeha being afraid to move down a rung of a ladder to accomodate from our high perch? I'd like to see proof of anything that in this country pakeha have any advantage.

It's not the pakeha who have government agencies fighting for special rights for their own kind, and there is no pakeha only scholarships, there is no minimum pakeha % in any university/polytech course.

Our relative "status" in the community is where we put ourselves. Everyone regardless of race/allegiance in this beautiful welfare state (I wholly support it personally, believe it or not) has every opportunity to go to uni or go get a job or get a loan, have some kids and go on the DPB or whatever, in fact it's usually easier for maori to achieve some of these things than any other.

What was the problem maori have again?

Iain said...

You illustrate my point perfectly, Andrew.

You see that Maori have benefits that Pakeha do not. These are 'perceived gains' not real ones. Maori are still over-represented in our prisons and domestic violence etc. They still have a lower average wage then a cheeky whitey, and a lower average level of education. Etc etc blah blah, you get the idea.

If Pakeha do not have those benefits or ethinicity-based allowances, this is because, by in large, they don't need them *on average*. For whatever reason your 'average' Maori may need a bit more social support up than your 'average' Pakeha, this much should be undeniable (from either a purely maori grievance perspective or from a purely white supremacist perspective). What we *DO* about it is the actual argument.

We either I) do nothing coz its their problem / we're all in the same boat; or we II) help them to do something about it, even though its technically not our problem; or we III) do something about it because its everybody's problem.

Obviously, you're falling in line with the first choice. Hey, if that's the way you want to do it then no problem. Others will do differently according to their own judgement.

Iain said...

p.s. Andrew, while my style is not generally confrontational, allow me to directly rebut what you say about prejudice.

Freedom of speech does not technically mean 'completely dialogically lawless'.

Just as Libertarians (and I'm am certainly not one, it's just an example) believe utterly in individual freedom, this only extends so far as to not impinge on another's personal freedom.

In this case, a libertarian will go to war against an evil facist totalitarian dictator simply because he's just too bad for them to get along with. That is, the dictator is sufficiently threatening to the freedoms of others that their own personal freedom must be dutifully removed.

In the case of a society that upholds the tenets of free speech et al, presumably lines also can still be drawn somewhere in the sand.

Andrew Brown said...

First off, I never meant to imply that prejudice was ever ok, and it's certainly not ok to act it out, but there's nothing inherently wrong with thinking in a prejudice way. When it affects other people, then it's not on.

You've also proved my point of the problem with giving a group a hand up as opposed to people with need. Yes maori are "mis-represented" in statistics in a negative way, but why does that mean maori as a whole need help for these things? Have "pakeha" put them in jail or prevented them from getting into uni? If someone wants top marks in class, they work hard for it. It's entirely unfair to give a place in a class to a person based on their race when a more qualified person didn't get in because there was limited resources. I don't care what group or race gets in, the people who did the work deserve it and no-one else.

Don't you understand that it's detrimental to give one group extra help because the group on average is worse? Why not help individuals regardless of race? All it does is artificially create a two tier system and it creates bitterness because certain groups are getting things they didn't deserve but just getting them because they were born to a particular set of parents.

Maori do have a problem (it's not specific to maori at all, just relevant in this case) in that their society is trapped in a cycle (generalisation here, not all are trapped and not all who are trapped are maori). Fact: More maori abuse their children than pakeha. Not because they are maori, but because it's just the situation they are in. The individuals in these situations need help, just as pakeha in similar situations need the same help.

You're right, it's not my problem, but it shouldn't be anyone's problem apart from the people who it's happening to. As I said, everyone in this country has the exact same access to education as anyone else. If enough maori people chose to take advantage of this and then chose to work in jobs that paid more, then on average their wages would go up. It is no-ones fault but their own that they don't.

If a kid goes to uni and sits at the back and does no work and consequently gets no degree and then earns less, who's fault is that? And does he require help? It's entirely is own fault, but for the sake of the nation he should be helped. But never ever should this help be given out to a person purely because of their heritage. That is racism (treating people differently because of their race) and it's WRONG.

Also, just for interests sake, what do you have against total personal freedom?

Iain said...

Andrew said, "You're right, it's not my problem, but it shouldn't be anyone's problem apart from the people who it's happening to".

As a Christian, I totally disagree with your approach to other people. I don't see the compassion in this line of reasoning, and I don't think it's very consistant with how I want to live to please my Maker.

But we'll have to agree to disagree because, as I stated in my last post, people approach these things from different perspectives and ours seem to be fairly opposite.

On a different note, of course I agree that people who do no work, don't try, and do nothing to help themselves should get what's coming to them, but I think that even you'd imagine that I don't actually think they should so you're really just setting up a 'straw man' to attack rather than any serious opposing perspective.

Why am i not a libertarian? Because no man is an island.

Andrew Brown said...

Just because something isn't my problem doesn't necessarily mean I shouldn't do something or be convicted, I was speaking from a purely theoretical (and not christian) point of view. I hope I've made it clear (I've tried to anyway) that I fully support helping people who are in need, I just don't think it should be race based.

Also, about no man is an island, total personal freedom is only as far as the individual is concerned. If I do what I want with myself, how does that affect anyone else? I just personally feel it's a restriction of human freedom for the government to tell me what I can and can't do.

A. J. Chesswas said...

I think the thing is, the grievances are not predominantly about rights. They are about land and livelihood. It doesn't matter how equal, or even positively discriminated Maori are today. We still have the land that we either stole or ripped them off for. They're not getting it back. Sure, the government is making settlements here and there, but the average New Zealand landowner is doing nothing to understand the connection Maori still have with their land. They do nothing to acknowledge we only have the livelihood we have today because we scored Maori land.

This is something that can never be compensated. It can never be capped by some magical date. In the same way the Scottish Highland clearances of 200 years ago affected and still affect our lives today, so will our usuprtion of the Maori affect their lives forever.

The worst thing is we signed a Treaty and pretended to be all just and civilised about it, but in the end our actions were closer to conquest than transaction. That is dishonest, and today we live off the benefits of that dishonesty. There's nothing we can do about it now, but the least we can do is a) feel the pain of being dislodged from one's land (it seems to come easy when Israel's involved), b) Recognise our posisition was is not grounded in just transactions, and that we never explicitly said it about conquest or properly challenged the Maori, and c) do what we can to be more accommodating and supportive where it is clear the effects of systemic justice remain to this day.

What I do agree with is that the government have outplayed this role. It's not about the government and fiscal settlements anymore. It is about you and I, the lands and resources we enjoy personally, and the individual everyday Maori in our proximity affected by that. It is about relationships, not politics.

That's my two cents :)

Iain said...

Nicely put, AJ. That was quite a clear argument.

Andrew Brown said...

I agree with everything aj says, it doesn't really have anything to do with what the argument turned into, but as far as treaty negotations go, it's all on and right.

I don't know what we're supposed to do about it though. I don't think it means maori should just be "given things" to make up for it.

Elizabeth said...

Sheesh, I have read it all and yep, Paul's right, you make me tired!

(Does Iain really want to read my blog? I'd better try to become intelligent or maybe you shouldn't take off the / :)

Aaron More said...

Hmmm I will not post a reply here for one very good reason. I had this debate with Sharyn over a dozen emails a few years back when I still worked at Inland Revenue in CH-CH. We both spent hours of employers time debating back and forwards. Needless to say we didn't end up agreeing but I did develop a respect for Sharyns ability to debate and reason

Jo said...

Ok I'm gonna comment. Paul and I have been calling this World War 7 (I'm pretty sure 3, 4, 5 and 6 happened on my blog). I have to be honest first though and say I haven't read ANY of your comments cos you all appear to talk too much and I am tired.

Here's what I think:

Mum and Dad bought a house. They paid $X. 30something years later they sold that house for $10X. Now the way I see it the kids, grandkids, greatgrandkids , milkman etc of the people they bought the house off can't come to the new owners and say "look the house is worth a lot more now, we want you to pay us the difference because we feel our ancestors were ripped off." At the time an amount was agreed on and maybe that wasn't a fair deal but there gets a point in time when you just have to get over it and try and concentrate of the rubbish that's happening in our lives now and not what happened a stupid amount of years ago.

Sharyn said...

Alright, I'm back.

Like, I go away for four days and come back to 17 comments! Can I not leave you guys for four days? Come ON!

AJ, I just know not what to say. We agree. Let lightening strike me. Your argument is reasoned and thoughtful. There's nothing really to add to what AJ said, so I'll leave you all to argue amongst yourselves.

No, wait, it would be like if Mum and Dad were the Government and their house was all of the South Island and instead of going to all the trouble of BUYING it they passed a law that said we OWN it. THAT would be what it was like.

Did I say earlier I didn't know much? Well, I may not know anything about binary code or other computer languages. Or IF binary code IS a computer language. Or what computer languages are or if that's even the right term - but I do know my treaty slash race based funding. A bit.

As you were.

Sharyn said...

Okay, Fine! Just one more comment from me - to Andrew (of course) and Aaron.

Firstly, Aaron - when I argued back then I had a sense I was right, but really no data or argument to back me up. Now that is not the case! The fact is, I could go on and on and on about this - and I have! (It earned me an A, no less). But - and now to Andrew: you don't want to hear it.

This is the thing, since you made this about race base funding (for want of a much better word). I have studied equally both sides of this argument, because I had to present both in a debate. There are some good arguments against race based funding - none of which you've actually stumbled across or you'd have used them. However, the arguments FOR race based funding are just better. There's more of them, they're harder to counter, and they make more sense - they take into account the real world scenario.

I don't ever want to turn this blog into an academic mud slinging match though - and that is all it will be if this continues. I feel sure I'm right, so do you.

The end.

Andrew Brown said...

I know you don't really want to keep going on about, but can you tell me a reason that race based funding (or should I say racist funding, as that's what it is) is ok, or at least link me to something that could get anywhere near changing my mind?

Sharyn said...

Well, first of all I imagine we're talking past each other a bit - if you gave me some concrete examples of what you mean by race based funding we might be nearer to talking the same language. Most arguments/debates over this issue stem from a fundemental disagreement over what exactly that means.

I don't know what information there is on the internet - but I can get you the names of some journal articles or books which provide arguments both ways.

Elizabeth said...

Mum, "Did you hear that dear, Sharyn said we could pass a law and own the South Island."

Dad, "Really, I knew she was smart, does that make us smart too!"

Mum, "Do you want to own the South Island, dear?"

Dad, "Not really. Ask her if we can do a deal to change Fleming for Vettori instead, now that would be smart!"

Andrew Brown said...

Ok, let's not even assume it's about funding, lets just assume it's any treatment. Apart from acceptance of tolerence of culture, a race should never be given any treatment that is different (better or worse) based on their race. If someone needs help, give it to them, but not because of their race, but because of their need.

Tell me what is wrong with that and how treating certain races differently (especially economically) is right. Usually if I disagree with someone, at least I can usually see where they're coming from, but not now..

Have I been involved in all the world wars?

Sharyn said...

Well, when their need is associated with their ethnicity.

Andrew Brown said...

I can understand needs being "a day off to go to a marae or something" but I really can't imagine any other fundamental "need" that a certain culture is going to have.

The flip side of the coin of treating a race differently (which almost always means better in this context) because of their race is that the rest of the population gets treated [i]worse[/i]. How is that ok?

Sharyn said...

Well, if Andrew Brown can't imagine it, it simply mustn't exist.

The logic in your second statement is flawed.

I'm so sick of this Andrew, you simply don't listen to reason. You are arguing for the sake of it, and you're not arguing WITH me, you are arguing PAST me.

There's actually no point to continuing with this. If you want to know more, I'll research some information for you to access. If you just want to be right, then we're wasting our time.

Jo said...

Mum and Dad: you make me laugh!

I have an example of Race Based Funding. The radio airwaves. Maori were given airwaves at a much reduced price to other people because they felt they were underrepresented in that area.

Sharyn said...

Okay, this is actually not an example of race based funding - minority groups all over the world have airwaves and air time made available to them. Maori are one of those groups but minority groups are made up also of children, religious groups, the disabled etc etc.

The idea is that these groups are exluded from commerical broadcasting for obvious reasons. Yet it's important that other points of view are 'aired' so to speak. Therefore, funding is extended and quotas drawn up in order to redress the balance. Make sense?

I don't know of airwaves being made cheaper, but this is simply a form of funding where airwaves are publically owned.

Andrew Brown said...

I'm sorry Sharyn, I never meant it to get so heated, but I feel the same way about what you're saying. I don't really understand what you mean by "arguing past me" but I am trying to come at what you've said head on. And I'm not arguing for the sake of it. I understand your view point but I just plain disagree.

I personally feel it's wrong to treat a race differently because they are a particular race. I don't really care if it's "for the benefit" of the community because I believe that it's fundamentally wrong to do such a thing. And anyway, if it is "for the benefit" it's only in the short term anyway

I would like to know some sources of information that could potentially change my mind. I'm open to change, and I doubt it's going to change my mind, but I'll give anything a go.

With my "flawed" statement, I admit, I should have added the word 'relatively' because then it makes perfect sense.

I do listen to reason, but I don't think it's reasonable in any regard to treat one group of people differently because of their culture. I think it's unreasonable and also racist.

The maori tv thing is different. That concerns free speech and the right to be heard. I agree with that, but certaintly not because they're underrepresented. Everyone should be heard and be given a place to talk.

I don't really see how I'm arguing past you, I'm simply disagreeing with your fundamental logic, which I personally think is flawed, which is fine as you probably think mine is..

Feel free to not continue this if you don't want, but I would be interested in some reading to "open up my mind" or at least understand where you're coming from, because from my seat, it makes no sense coming from a sensible person like you.

Sharyn said...

As I’ve said like about a billion times, it’s okay to treat one group differently because of their ethnicity WHEN THEY ARE ALREADY BEING TREATED DIFFERENTLY THROUGH BEING DISADVANTAGED BECAUSE OF THEIR ETHNICITY.

You are arguing past me because instead of saying, I disagree, you say you can’t think of a time when this might be true. Instead of saying this isn’t true because of x reason, you just reiterate your old statements. Instead of saying okay you’ve actually studied this, you might be saying something I could hear, you just rant on using absurd examples and inflammatory language.

I could make your argument better than you are making it. What you are repeating is politically biased, ideologically driven, media drivel, which, I might add, I’ve heard a million times. It’s just plain wrong. It sounds good to say ‘we shouldn’t fund on the basis of race’. It sounds good to say ‘we should fund based on need’. It sounds good to say ‘it’s reverse discrimination and we poor white boys are getting the rough end of the stick’. COME ON. What you are arguing is just political sound bites. And not even the politicians believe it! It ignores the fact that the world is not a fair or even place. You assume that there’s an even playing field. Any stat in the world will assure you this is not the case.

Other comments have noted over and over again that Maori and other minority groups feature poorly in the stats. I say, that’s not because they’re lazy or stupid so obviously there’s something else. You say everyone in this country has the same access. Maori should just get better jobs, should just work harder, should just do better in school. I’m sorry, what’s the implication here? But you’re not prejudice OH NO! It’s the rest of us bleeding heart liberals that are prejudice. Scholarships, targeted health initiatives, equal opportunity employment – these are programs that are actually working. They are actually making New Zealand a more equitable place. You are not disadvantaged by them. It doesn’t make it harder for you to get into Uni, or get a job or get access to health care. So…what’s your problem?

You are smarter than this crap.

I’ll find you some literature.

Andrew Brown said...

That's the first argument you've said so far that has made me reconsider my point of view. But I still disagree. Sorry for the arguing past you, I never intended to do it. If I'm still doing it then I don't understand the concept.

I guess I just really disagree with you on almost all your points then.

You said WHEN THEY ARE ALREADY BEING TREATED DIFFERENTLY THROUGH BEING DISADVANTAGED BECAUSE OF THEIR ETHNICITY I'd argue that their ethnicity doesn't make them get treated differently. Maori are not disadvantaged because they are born maori. Certain maori may be disadvantaged because they were born to a family without a desire to have their kids do as well as possible, but some maori don't get born into those situations and some white people do. I don't see the problem just because higher % of maori get born into these situations.

In reading what you wrote, and I guess it all comes from if you believe that mis-representation in statistics is because of a problem or if it's just the way it is. So…what’s your problem? You are correct in saying that it doesn't disadvantage me (unless of course I was in line to get into some program and was put aside because a maori with worse qualifications got in instead). That doesn't make it ok. My problem is that people are getting special treatment because of their race. It really is that simple.

The fact that maori are mis-represented in statistics means nothing at all. If you seperated all people with the last name Brown and found out that they were mis-represented in statistics should Brown scholarships be set up? Should we have initiatives to help us get into uni and earn more money?

You claim I'm using sound-bite style arguments that "not even politicans" believe, well I believe them.

I don't really think you understand what I have a problem with. You say I'm prejudice, but of what? I think every single person should be treated the exact same way and I think any less is wrong.

EVERYBODY in this country needs education that they can break the cycle of their parents and community if they so desire.

Maori should just get better jobs, should just work harder, should just do better in school. Essentially, yes. Not better than other people, just up to the same standard. I don't believe maori are born less mentally capable. I believe that their parents do a poor job of instilling values into their children. Not because they are maori and that these problems are inherit to maori but because it's just the situation they have found themselves in. A lot of minorities in this country are in similar situations, but they have to go to school and learn from the same teachers and do the same exams as you and I do, to get the same results we do.

It ignores the fact that the world is not a fair or even place. You assume that there’s an even playing field. I don't assume it's fair, which is why I support people in less than ideal situations getting help. Why should that help be limited to a race or be given in larger amounts to one race?