Com­mon prop­erty

The Northland Age - - Opinion - BRYAN JOHN­SON Omoko­roa ROB PATER­SON Mount Maun­ganui

In her weekly opinion piece in Satur­day’s Her­ald, Lizzie Marvelly gets into a tizzie, claim­ing that en­quir­ing about her eth­nic­ity or ‘Maori­ness’ is rude, and may be the re­sult of ig­no­rance or mal­ice, and that it is her own busi­ness.

Wrong! Ms Marvelly, when you put on a pro­fes­sional writer’s hat and have your opin­ions pub­lished in the pub­lic me­dia, the pub­lic have a right to know those at­ti­tudes that gov­ern your opin­ions so they can judge their qual­ity, ac­cu­racy and wor­thi­ness. Once they are pub­lished your opin­ions be­come com­mon prop­erty. Many see your weekly col­umn as hav­ing eth­nic and sex­ist agen­das.

As for “the deep­est and most per­sonal part of your iden­tity,” your” iwi affin­ity,” con­sider the fol­low­ing anom­aly.

There are no full-blooded Maori. No Maori has more than half-blood. A large number have more colo­nial fore­bears than they do Maori an­ces­tors. By your peren­nial photo, your name, the pub­lic knowl­edge of your cel­e­brated fam­ily and your own men­tion of Bri­tish and Czech blood, I sur­mise that you are no more than one-eighth Maori.

But you seem to claim only that part of your her­itage as be­ing of any rel­e­vance, and by putting on your Maori cloak you are will­ing to ac­cept the Wai­tangi Tri­bunal’s ap­proved and Treaty set­tle­ment pay­outs for al­leged land con­fis­ca­tions 160 years ago that were car­ried out by set­tlers.

Set­tlers com­prise seven-eighths of your own fore­bears. Per­haps it is they who should pay. So for­get the bathos and get pro­fes­sional. to pre­vail in New Zealand over the PC garbage that cur­rently abounds.

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