The New Zealand Wars of the mid-19th century were tantamount to a genocide of the native Maori. Official estimates put the Maori population at around 200,000 at the beginning of the 19th century. By the end of the New Zealand Wars in 1872 it was approximately 40,000. Pultizer Prize-winning scientist and author Jared Diamond places the figure as low as 15,000, and refers to it as a genocide. He is not alone. What is certain is that a cultural genocide followed. The state-controlled mainstream media completely ignored Maori issues and values. The major newspapers were particularly racist and portrayed Maori and their grievances in a very negative light. Television New Zealand arrived in the early 1960s and buried Maori culture completely. Two generations of New Zealanders grew up watching on average 22 hours of (state) TV a week. That’s more time than they spent in school – even when they were at school. And state TV, too, completely ignored genuine Maori culture, instead portraying urban Maori in a depressing and negative light: the criminal, the gang members, the cheater and wife-beater, the drinker and smoker. Thus two generations of New Zealanders unlearned everything they had known about genuine Maori culture and were literally brainwashed with racial prejudice by state-controlled television. The education system was also extremely racist, completely ignoring Maori culture and history. Not one thing about the Maori, not one word of their language, was taught in public schools. The education of New Zealanders was entirely British. Yet, due to its isolation, New Zealand has succeeded in hiding this from the international community. And has also managed to hide this from itself. The genocide of the Maori has never been acknowledged. White New Zealanders are inclined to react somewhat angrily to the suggestion, of course. It would be a dangerous passtime to bring it up in that tiny corner of the world. At the same time New Zealand is a nation which craves the world’s admiration. It practically went to war with itself over sporting contacts with Apartheid South Africa, it rants and raves about environmental issues, it goes into a male-bashing frenzy, and it even outlaws spanking, But all this must be regarded as nothing more than a pretence. For New Zealand is a country which has refused to acknowledge its racist past, and which continues to ignore its racist present. There is nothing admirable nor praiseworthy about such a society.


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