Maori nationalism alone is not enough any more to win the struggle against the continued alienation of our lands, language and culture. We need to be internationalists. Unfortunately, not all Maori are part of this kaupapa. These corporate warriors and tribal capitalists have been pursuing the expansion of their own asset bases, and enriching themselves at the expense of the vast majority of Maori. They have a self interest in neo-liberal globalisation, and they share the profit-seeking mentality that characterises the multi-national companies. The struggle of ordinary Maori for Tino Rangatiratanga is also the struggle against these tribal capitalists
"Eight thousand dollars! Eight thousand fuckin' dollars!
Not surprisingly, in this context the "fiscal envelope" and the fiasco around the Sealords deal was not about restitution for unjust deeds done to Maori but rather a shoddy attempt to get rid of any semblance of Treaty rights that Maori had in lands, fisheries, rivers, so that New Zealand could waltz into the "free" market. After all any economic resource (land or otherwise) is very commercially unattractive when it seems that another party may actually own it! What silly hua would buy it? Of course, this didn't stop some Maori who, like their buddies in big business, wanted to become global players in this "free" market. So by cashing in on the momentum created by Tino Rangatiratanga advocates, this Maori elite cashed in generations of Maori for only a small fraction of what the land, fisheries and other resources were worth (and for some Maori assigning a monetary value to Papatuanuku or Tangaroa is obscene).
These "corporate warriors" (truly the funniest thing since the chicken crossed the road) monkeyed the Pakeha capitalists which led them to turn tribes into corporate companies (for our benefit we're told - but not with our permission!). All of this was done without mandate and in real dodgy ways. The settlements that they sought saw the gains and successes achieved by those who fought the first wave of colonization negotiated, cashed up and wiped away. The settled amounts they got from the Government are minuscule and will only end up benefiting a small sector of Maori society, the elites in Maori society.
Maori nationalism alone is not enough any more to win the struggle against the continued alienation of our lands, language and culture. We need to be internationalists. Unfortunately, not all Maori are part of this kaupapa. These corporate warriors and tribal capitalists have been pursuing the expansion of their own asset bases, and enriching themselves at the expense of the vast majority of Maori. They have a self interest in neo-liberal globalisation, and they share the profit-seeking mentality that characterises the multi-national companies. The struggle of ordinary Maori for Tino Rangatiratanga is also the struggle against these tribal capitalists.
WEAVING THE FABRIC OF GLOBAL RESISTANCE --- WE'RE NOT DONE!
"We do not want your charity, we do not want your loans. Those in the North have to understand our struggle and to realise it is also part of their own. Everywhere the rich are getting richer, the poor poorer, and the environment is being plundered. Whether in the North or South, we face the same future... Globalisation should mean we want to globalise human society, not business. Life is not business."
- A farmer from Karnataka, India
The same year (1994) the NZ government launched its neo-liberal attempt to kill off indigenous rights via the "fiscal envelope," the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) came into effect, and two thousand indigenous people from several groups came out from the mountains and forests. Masked, armed and calling themselves Zapatistas, their battle cry was "Ya Basta" - "Enough is Enough". These masked rebels were not only demanding like us that their own land and lives be given back; they were talking about neo-liberalism, about the "death sentence" that NAFTA and other free trade agreements would impose on indigenous people. They were demanding the dissolution of power while encouraging others all over the world to take on the fight against the enclosure of our lives by capital. "Don't join us - do it yourself" was their message.
Working and networking with others does not mean that we give up our own autonomy and sovereignty (get off the grass!). Rebuilding our tikanga, iwitanga and haputanga is no one's business but ours! (Self-determination is about us determining ourselves). It's about recognising that we are not the only people facing neo-liberal globalisation and that it will manifest itself in the context of numerous diverse societies. Being able to share and exchange experiences and strategies and build upon common strategies is what internationalism is about. It's about recognising that Maori society doesn't exist in its own societal cocoon but rather that a commonality of struggle exists with other peoples, movements, and groups across the globe. The mobilisations against the MAI (the Multilateral Agreement on Investment) are a good example of how Maori have networked, worked, and struggled as part of an international dynamic. Wahine Maori led the charge to end the MAI negotiations here in Aotearoa, stopping it in its tracks.
The key message here is to act locally while thinking globally, recognising that there are numerous other groups fighting the same issues. It's all about getting active and doing it for ourselves.