Today The Herald reported that Tariana Turia is calling for Pakeha to become members of the Maori Party. This is itself is a call that has been long overdue. Many Pakeha probably feel ‘threatened’ by the spectre of the Māori Party making policies that may have been perceived to be anti-Pakeha. I do not necessarily see it that way, but perceptions are important.
For years Tariana has been making announcements, along with her co-leader and other members that most definitely tweak the collective consciences of many New Zealanders. These pronouncements have been challenging for many other NZers to say the least.
What’s happened, Tariana? Is this a genuine move or is it purely political and based on the need to garner more Pakeha votes? To be fair, I must say that Tariana has softened her approach of late and this latest move does not really surprise me. I have always liked her motherly approach—sort of like Mother Gaia, from the Greens---you remember that lovely ex co-leader.
I think back to that famous phrase that ‘we are one people’ and wonder if this move is one that lends weight to that claim. We are actually ‘many people’ but Maori have a special position in this country. Their sad demise, due to past colonial policies is historic fact. I understand that many hold grievances for past deeds, imposed on them. Perhaps Tariana’s words are ones of hope in our continued shared journey towards a happier nation. I shall watch with interest.