fletcher, i agree completely. there's documentary evidence from france that a person can have great education, speak perfect french with no foriegn accent, be wealthy, blah blah blah, and still not be regarded as 'french'. why? black. a lot of countries are like that.
dc_red. dunno. it's like i'm stereotyping stereotypers. which is fun in itself. that said, a lot of those 'new zealanders' were probably just passionate about their identity, and not necessary reactionary bigots. not that you named any.
and finally debs. you've clearly demonstrated the problem with introducing rationality to identity politics. the externalities you indicate need to exist separate from the two participants, but also be shared by them. two people don't make an identity group, but a large number of persons sharing a 'imagined community' do. enter mr. benedict anderson.
the kicker is that you have to identify with that imagined community, and have your identification verified by other members, plural. or else your identity will be 'fraught'. it just defies rationality because the process is so highly reflexive, subjective, and downright 'ornery.
witness the loonies claiming to be waitaha maori.
PS. yamis, ran out of time.
Manakura, also read "Politics in the Vernacular" by Will Kymlicka.
i think FN music made me appreciate other kiwi bands more. in '89 a mate from [roto]vegas gave me a tape of dunedin highlights that opened eyes previously focused on the crap that passed for music on bay of plenty radio.
it included a tune by a vegas band called the booga dagas. sublime. the tape got knicked with a car i had in melbourne, and i'll readily admit to getting a little teary. i thought, "screw the car... i'll never hear that song ever again".
it was called 'reverend petrol head'. if anyone had a copy, big favours owed.
next story. i walk into the old cafe bodega in the very early 90s and there's these people sitting in a booth. one goes, "oh, gidday che. how's your uncle and your mum?", we chat, i walk off.
my girlfriend of the time asks, "who's that?". i say, "oh, that's tony nevison and the headless chickens."
she was very impressed.
ok, i'll blimmin tell you anyway.
if you say you are something, and people agree with you, then you are.
so, i can say, "i am a maori". but unless a bunch of people agree with me, then i am not. naturally the people agreeing have to also be maori.
kind of simple really. you are what you say you are, unless you're lying.
and that's exactly why this is such a great issue. but also such an awful issue.
would you like to know my suggestion for determining your identity?
yup. there's a link to one above, the tom beard comment.
the tick box says, "new zealand european", which is by any objective measure, a nationality (new zealander) and a racial category (european, although, caucasian might be smarter).
strangely though, the form also lists a whole bunch more nationalities. but, these nationalities can be easily stereotyped into racial groups. all those koreans, japanese, chinese et al are likely to be labelled 'asians' by the stats people.
john. that's pretty damn funny.
and yamis. i agree with tze ming, persons who state they are new zealanders, and especially if they do so vehemently, are making a statement that they are the one 'true' identity group in this country.
the fact that they are most usually racially european might have been lost along the way in this conversation. people seem to be using 'ethnically' in much the same way.
check out B Jones on pages two.
but! i am in no way asserting that your preference for the term is wrong. rather, i wanted to point out that the kinds of people we're targeting for criticism are highly likely to be disparaging of any person they consider outside their racial preference group.
and as tze ming mentions, there is no box for 'new zealander'. people had to actually write it on the form.
I haven't actually read the letter, but I would abserve that...
hmmmm.... interesting word. 'Abserve'. is that an observation made 'from the gut'?
if it is, i feel we may have captured ms coddingtons journalistic style.
I can't see a lot of Maori agreeing to the premise that because they are NZ citizens then they are Pakeha. Many would point to the fact that although the Pakeha tried their very best to force just that assimilation
and that's the kicker, and why i recommended you read david pearson.
nzl operates this unique bicultural and multicultural blend you don't see in other liberal democracies. it stems partly from 1970s realisation that maori wouldn't assimilate, and partly from pragmatism (i.e. 'we have to find a way to get on').
so the multicultural idea, that all recent migrants assimilate as part of their social contract ('if you come live here, be as ethnic as you want, but your children will assimilate') extends to one part of the non-pakeha citizen population.
meanwhile, the bicultural idea, that article two of the treaty will be upheld, operates independently, and only to maori.
distinctions between the two completely different types of 'minority management' often bleed into one another, and are confusing to anyone but experts.
but in shorthand? "maori welcome to remain distinct, anyone else better learn english and start drinking leon rouge"