Now I will be honest, I have not watched this documentary and I have heard it is very good, and it does sound like Ben Edwards (no relation) learned a great deal during the filming of this. But initially this article annoyed me because I thought another person thinking I can get a hand out because I can claim some Maori ancestry. But then I calmed down and realised that not everyone (especially Cantabs) would be as lucky as me
Because I am 1/16th Maori as well. On my Mother’s side of the family, Grand Father – Big Grandad Dinah Thomson was Ngati Maniapoto.
Dinah (he was called Big Grandad to distinguish him from Little Grandad) was half Maori. He was a Boer War veteran, race horse owner, landlord, Mason and full on character. He died when I was about 7 but I do remember him very well. He was dark, wrinkly and loud. He actually tried to be friendly when I saw him, but I would just burst into tears. I remember vividly colouring in pictures (which I was always crap at – made even harder by the fact I was bawling) and him telling me my colouring in was very good. And him also pretending there was a rat hiding in my hair – which ok I admit is probably not the nicest old person – young person bonding activity. But it was pretty funny and I did get 20c afterwards.
Anyway I was brought up to be proud that I was part Maori (although just a smidgin) My Father being an avid historian (which is just code for being romantic). told us as many stories about great Maori battles, warriors and as he did Scottish ones. We grew up knowing not to trust a Campbell or a Ngapuhi*, and that the land confiscations inflicted on the Tangata Whenua were an injustice.
But we were never brought up to think – oh you are part Maori you are entitled to a hand out. We knew we we were mostly pakeha but we could appreciate and cherish our Maori Heritage just as much as our Scottish, English and Cornish Heritage.
Handy Hint when you hear some red neck going on about how much easier it is to be Maori or Aboriginal (they get all of these free hand outs you see) is just say.. So would you like to be one? And it seems to stop them in their traps. And funnily enough they don’t seem that interested. I don’t believe there are enough handouts, scholarships, or benefits to make up for being considered a second class citizen because of the your ethnicity (and while I am at it sex or sexual orientation)
* Disclaimer yes I know there are good Campbells and Ngapuhi. But when Dad was went on a Rugby League trip from the Waikato up to Whangarei in the early 70’s. His Maori counterparts were genuinely checking out the Ngapuhi and told him that if there were any attractive people up there it was only because they had been stolen from the Waikato last century
(Cantabs I struggle with – and no I wouldn’t want to be one)