Wednesday, October 24, 2007

What did he say?

In his speech in Parliament yesterday on the police's "terror" raids, Maori party MP Hone Harawira mentioned that

Ross Meurant, Auckland Task Force, Red Squad, and the MP who used protected disclosure to try to get me lynched for terrorism during his maiden speech in this very House
What did Meurant say? Here's some excerpts from Hansard on 6 October, 1987:
I now wish to speak briefly about the advent of racial terrorism. They say that until an alcoholic acknowledges that he has a problem there is no hope for a cure or a remedy; I say that until we are able to admit that we have a problem with our race relations they will steadily deteriorate. When white middle-class New Zealanders turn on the television they see radical nationalist Maoris demanding land and compulsory Maori language in schools; insulting white New Zealanders; swearing that white man's blood will run in the streets; and threatening the rest of the country with armed revolution. White New Zealand hears calls for absolute Maori control of our country, sees Maori gangs involved in shocking crimes - and white New Zealand turns off. The backlash has begun.


We must also maintain our vigilance against extremist elements in our society that would exploit our racial difficulties and that advocate the overthrow of the New Zealand Government by armed force and the removal of white New Zealanders. Who are the people who want total Maori control of New Zealand? They are Maori radicals who espouse a philosophy of nationalism, yet accept assistance from communist States and training in Third World countries. Those people include Atareta Poananga, Titewhai Harawira, Hinewhare Harawira, Rebecca Evans, Donna Awatere, Hilda Halkyard Harawira, and Emily Karaka, who are the principal cell of the Maori nationalist movement in New Zealand. They call the shots. Males are regarded as inferior, and sit in the second row. They include Arthur Harawira, Hone Harawira, Mangu Awarau, Benny Dalton, Dr Pat Hohepa, Eru Potaka-Dewes, Norman Te Whata, Syd Jackson, and Haami Piripi. Those people operate under several organisational labels - the Waitangi Action Committee appears to be the umbrella group, with PENAK, NFIP, MLPA, Rangitahi Action Group, and Te Ahi Kaa some of the subsidiary groups.

As an inspector of the New Zealand Police, I - along with others - watched the movement grow. Those people were first seen at Bastion Point in 1978; they then moved to Waitangi, and turned our national day into an annual battle between police and protestors. In 1981 New Zealanders experienced unprecedented violence in the streets as members of the group recruited, organised, mobilised, and motivated gang members across the nation, from the Mongrel Mob to the Headhunters, to clash with the police. They have moved underground, and they are now a greater danger; they now plan to overthrow the New Zealand Government. Poananga stated: ``We want all the land back, every inch of it.'' She also said that they will resort to the barrel of a gun to achieve their goal. That group will never succeed with its objective, but - as with the Black September movement in the United States - it will cause a lot of misery and turmoil, and the danger it presents to the nation must not be underestimated.

It's an ugly reminder of past attitudes which unfortunately haven't entirely disappeared. Maori demanding justice and "insulting white New Zealanders"? The outrage! And obviously, anything done by Maori must really be all about gangs (a belief Ron Mark still seems to subscribe to). But what's really amusing is how many of those named by Meurant have gone on to fill powerful roles. Atareta Poananga was an MFAT diplomat and 3rd on the Maori Party list last election. Rebecca Evans helped establish the Ministry of Women's Affairs. Donna Awatere and Hone Harawira both ended up in Parliament (though hopefully Harawira will last longer and not make as messy an exist as Awatere-Huata). Pat Hohepa and Eru Potaka Dewes are both academics. Syd Jackson was a union leader and broadcaster, and established the first Maori-sponsored PHO. And Haami Piripi was chief executive of the Maori Language Commission. Meurant's "racial terrorists" have become the establishment. I wonder where that leaves him?