Gareth Morgan: Get radical on race issues



Philanthropist says Pakeha, with history of nearly exterminating Maori, need now to live up to Treaty promises
Gareth Morgan plans to challenge Pakeha over their failures to live up to the Treaty. Picture / John Borren
Gareth Morgan plans to challenge Pakeha over their failures to live up to the Treaty. Picture / John Borren
Gareth Morgan plans to challenge Pakeha over their failures to live up to the Treaty. Picture / John Borren

Pakeha nearly "exterminated" Maori and need to make good on the intent of the Treaty of Waitangi - including compulsory te reo in all primary schools, philanthropist Gareth Morgan has said ahead of a visit to the Ratana Church today.
"Pakeha generally ... think the Treaty begins and ends with breaches, claims and settlements. The Treaty is not just about that. It's about Maori culture, language and investment having just as much right in New Zealand as our conventional ones ... we're miles from that."
Dr Morgan - a Pakeha businessman and economist - will challenge Pakeha over what he perceives to be failures to live up to the Treaty.
His arrival this morning at Ratana Pa near Whanganui - where the church will stage its annual celebrations marking the birthday of its late founder - comes after five years of study and co-authoring of a book charting his vision of the path forward - Are We There Yet? The future of the Treaty of Waitangi.
"I want to lay down the challenge to Pakeha New Zealand to do the right thing by the Treaty," Dr Morgan said.
"Maori is more than the haka for the All Blacks and [Treaty] claims. It is interwoven into our being and we should be proud of it."
He said the current negotiated settlements, which returned to Maori only 2c-3c in each dollar, were only the start of honouring the Treaty.

"They bloody near got exterminated. Certainly their culture did, with their language not being allowed in schools. It's been amazing it's been robust enough to survive to this point.
"We've inherited that and we have to live with the consequences of that. Too many Maori either unhealthy, poorly educated, too high in the crime statistics - there's a huge human potential we're not realising."
He said small concessions were made, including using te reo place names. "We resist every step of the way [and] you bet we have a bloody row over it. Michael Laws nearly blew apart over the 'H' in Whanganui.
"I believe te reo should be compulsory in schools. We've begrudged every step of the way. I think Pakeha are very fearful, which is one thing, and they think it's race related, which is rubbish.
"There is a resentment of Maori. That unfortunately has come about because Maori are over-represented among the socially disadvantaged.
"You see the inter-generational crap that comes down as a result of continued alienation and marginalisation of a people in their own land."
Along with te reo in schools, Dr Morgan floated the idea of an upper House of Parliament of which half the members were Maori, with the power to send legislation back to the lower House for further consideration.
He said he wanted the Treaty enshrined in law, and for it to be part of a wider, more public, debate about New Zealand's future.
He said the Treaty was a deal Pakeha had made at a point in history where it was the minority partner.
"Let's remember at the time Pakeha were outnumbered 10-one. If they hadn't come up with something reasonable, they would have got eaten. That's the reality of it.
"Those guys all had their heads screwed on at the time. New Zealand would be better off if we lived by those principles."
- NZ Herald