Monday, October 22, 2007

What if??? 'Sliding' through alternate realities

Finally caught up with the weekend papers and one theme about the 'terror raids' seems to be that the onus is on the police to deliver the goods.
Helen Clark says as much today, so as the police cop a lot flak, why not release a report showing a policeman's lot is not a happy one.
So the weekend news reports show that guns are part of Tuhoe life, even for children, so why is a police raid so traumatising for them?
And Tame Iti and friends are simply having a jolly good time out in the bush and being funded by the taxpayer while doing so.
Yes, funded by the evil Pakeha state they apparantly despise.
But it got me thinking, as the papers wheeled out various commentators to say nothing much was amiss, Tame Iti is a harmless fool, etc, etc.
But what might the reaction be from the commentariat to such raids had National being in power, if Don Brash had won election 2005?
I guess a National-led government would have been pushing harder to get some treaty settlements done, to get the issue over and dealt with. There might have been movement to abolish Maori seats and more talk of 'one nation, one people.'
The lefty commentariat would have been outraged at this, and various people would have been wheeled out to say it was all the fault of a National-led government, that Don Brash was to blame for his government's 'hardline' stance.
But let's think a moment. It was National that signed major treaty settlements in the 1990s and there have been none since. It was Labour that signed the Foreshore Act that led to the formation of the Maori party.
All Labour want to do is keep Maori dependent on welfare and take Maori for granted as Shane Jones MP once admitted.
So if the left are doing their bit to accuse Helen Clark, their beloved Prime Minister, of running a jackbooted facistic state, imagine what they would say about Don Brash.
This brings me on to another 'what if'.
So Tuhoe might want independence. Would it realistically be economically feasible? How would they seriously manage without 'Pakeha welfare.' But if they want it, why not? I doubt the rest of New Zealand would miss them. Can't see Murupara making a fine capital though, or Ruatoki?
In my fanciful moments I have sometimes wondered how New Zealand, or should I say Aoteroa might have fared if somehow the Maori had kept the white man at bay and the country had never being colonised.
Alternate realities is a fiction genre in itself . In my younger days, I enjoyed the tv sci-fi series 'Sliders' which presented a series of alternate realities as the characters traveled through various parallel worlds, like where the British Empire still ruled America, or the Soviets.
I guess Rotorua might have made a fine capital, but would the "Land of the Long White Cloud' be one country or several? How would it have progressed economically? About as much as other Polynesian countries, which isn't much.
However, some historians say Maori used to be very enterprising selling supplies to the white man, so maybe a Maori Aotorea might well have prospered.
My guess would be there would be some immigration of 'expats' and others who would have been needed to introduce sheep and horses, help run the farms, show the locals what to do, etc, etc.
The 'pakeha' population might then be 20% of say 1-2 million Maori.
So imagine an Aotorea at the turn of the 21st Century. The daughter of a farming family in the Waikato battling against the 'racism' and 'sexism' of the National Marae and the Council of Kaumata. Would Helen Elizabeth Clark make herself heard, would she have to sit at the back, or would she eventually become Aoteroa's first 'Pakeha' Prime Minister?
What do you think?
UPDATE: It is interesting to note that in The Future Eaters, Australian Tim Flannery notes Maori ate the megafauna (moas) and most seals, creating food shortages, leading to a more violent culture and wars over resources. Had the white man not arrived , then Maori could have eaten themselves out of existance.


Anonymous said...

It is well known that the treaty of waitangi saved the maoris from extinction. they spent the early years of the 1800s involved in the musket wars which involved killing and eating as many of your enemies as you possibly could. if they had not signed the treaty and been civilised by the poms they would have eaten themselves out of existance


Thanks Anonymous.
I was hoping to stir up some debate.
Let our imaginations work overtime.
I pictured a pastoral view of a Maori Aotorea, perhaps reaching the levels of Argentina and Chile economically-speaking.
New Zealand made much of its prosperity of the last century as England's Farm.
Aotorea might not have had the same access to the British markets as we once had. There again, it would not have suffered the loss of those markets when Britain joined the then EEC in the 1970s.
Aotorea could have been Japan's Farm, Asia's Farm, and increasingly today, China's Farm.
It could have been a beacon of Polynesian prosperity.
We never know.
We` can only but fantasise but come up with reasons for our fantasies and imaginations.
Would Auckland exist, or would the Tamaki-Makarau district be a collection of small townships around the harbour and bays? What about Wellington? Christchurch?
Where might the larger Aotorean settlements be?