Theme 7 'Ignorance' and 'Insensitivity'

Pākehā actions that offend Māori are portrayed as not their fault and Māori are depicted as just over-reacting.
I didn’t know, Māori don’t tell us, hyper-sensitive, unreasonable, take offence too easily and need to lighten up, build a bridge and get over it, no sense of humour, its just P.C.
  • ”At the time, none of us kids thought we were disrespecting anyone’s culture.” The Haka Party incident of 1979, when Maori disrupted an annual mockery of the haka by University of Auckland engineering students, who had ignored years of polite requests to stop, is revisited by the New Zealand Herald, May 2009.
  • Don Brash has criticised the use of powhiri at official functions, saying a "half-naked man poking his tongue out" is not a particularly civilised way to greet foreign dignitaries. New Zealand Herald, September 4, 2005.
  • Māori culture, language and values are inferior; therefore Pākehā need not respect them.
  • Pākehā culture and language is dominant and universal; therefore anything Māori must “fit in” or adjust.
  • It’s the responsibility of Māori to tell Pākehā about their culture.
  • Māori are secretive about their culture; therefore, it’s their fault if Pākehā don’t know what could cause offense.
  • Blames Māori for Pākehā transgressions.
  • Excuses persistent and deliberate breaches of commonly understood Māori values and practices, such as mispronouncing te reo Māori, or not bothering to learn appropriate protocols for Māori environments.
  • Marginalises Māori cultural practices and maintains the dominance of Pākehā practices.
  • Respecting Māori language and culture is criticised as being “PC”.
  • Māori cultural practices outside Māori environments, such as marae, are seen as political impositions on others.
  • People speaking Māori or practising tikanga Māori in everyday situations are often told to stop.
  • Māori culture, language and practices are extremely important to identity in Aotearoa and should be respected as such.
  • Māori are unique to Aotearoa and contribute to New Zealand’s distinctiveness internationally.
  • Pākehā make active decisions about whether or not to respect Māori.
  • New Zealand is one of the most monolingual countries in the world; in many countries being multilingual is ordinary.
  • Learning te reo and developing cultural competence in tikanga Māori and other cultures enriches national life.
Download all 14 themes in a booklet (landscape A4 pages)