The contrasting fortunes of Maoris and Native Australians

Wascurito

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Those watching the Lions' tour of New Zealand won't have failed to notice the degree to which Maori culture has been integrated into the wider Kiwi society. Not so in Australia where there's very little recognition of Native Australian culture at all.

The Kiwis just seem to be better at looking after their indigenous minority. The Maori language (also known as Te Reo) has official status in New Zealand and the government in Wellington is making determined efforts to promote it.

The demographic statistics of the two groups also show a sharp contrast. Maoris live 4-5 years longer and are only half as likely to be unemployed as Native Australians. Even then, the Australian government admits that there is some uncertainty as to the published unemployment figures for Native Australians. The inequality also crosses generations. Native Australian women are twice as likely as Maoris to have underweight babies.

Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, when international outrage focused on South Africa for its treatment of its indigenous peoples, Australia was quietly operating its own system of constitutionally mandated discrimination. Up until 1967, the Australian constitution specifically excluded the "aboriginal race" from normal laws and protections, declaring that for those of "the Aboriginal race" "it is deemed necessary to make special laws". Prior to that, they weren't even included in national censuses.

By contrast, white New Zealanders accorded the Maoris "the same rights as all other British subjects" as long ago as 1840 under the Treaty of Waitangi.

How can two countries that are so closely associated in the public mind be so different in this one regard?
 


niall78

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Those watching the Lions' tour of New Zealand won't have failed to notice the degree to which Maori culture has been integrated into the wider Kiwi society. Not so in Australia where there's very little recognition of Native Australian culture at all.

The Kiwis just seem to be better at looking after their indigenous minority. The Maori language (also known as Te Reo) has official status in New Zealand and the government in Wellington is making determined efforts to promote it.

The demographic statistics of the two groups also show a sharp contrast. Maoris live 4-5 years longer and are only half as likely to be unemployed as Native Australians. Even then, the Australian government admits that there is some uncertainty as to the published unemployment figures for Native Australians. The inequality also crosses generations. Native Australian women are twice as likely as Maoris to have underweight babies.

Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, when international outrage focused on South Africa for its treatment of its indigenous peoples, Australia was quietly operating its own system of constitutionally mandated discrimination. Up until 1967, the Australian constitution specifically excluded the "aboriginal race" from normal laws and protections, declaring that for those of "the Aboriginal race" "it is deemed necessary to make special laws". Prior to that, they weren't even included in national censuses.

By contrast, white New Zealanders accorded the Maoris "the same rights as all other British subjects" as long ago as 1840 under the Treaty of Waitangi.

How can two countries that are so closely associated in the public mind be so different in this one regard?
Native Australians were hunted and killed by the newcomers as they had zero power to protect themselves.

The Maoris were powerful and quite capable - in the early years - of wiping out new settlers if they felt aggravated enough.

Power and respect until recently were ultimately gained by the ability to use force. The Maoris had that ability and the Native Australians didn't. Hence their respective situations in their countries even to this day.
 

eoghanacht

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The Maoris were fiercer warriors able to put up a better defence of their people?
 

Deadlock

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Native Australians were hunted and killed by the newcomers as they had zero power to protect themselves.

The Maoris were powerful and quite capable - in the early years - of wiping out new settlers if they felt aggravated enough.

Power and respect until recently were ultimately gained by the ability to use force. The Maoris had that ability and the Native Australians didn't. Hence their respective situations in their countries even to this day.
I had the depressing inclination that it was something of that nature.
 

silverharp

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The Maoris were a more sophisticated culture, they had only settled NZ 500 years before the Europeans arrived but they had a structured society (spoke one language) that the Europeans could recognise and negotiate with and they could put up resistance in a way the Aboriginals couldnt
 

Wascurito

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Native Australians were hunted and killed by the newcomers as they had zero power to protect themselves.

The Maoris were powerful and quite capable - in the early years - of wiping out new settlers if they felt aggravated enough.

Power and respect until recently were ultimately gained by the ability to use force. The Maoris had that ability and the Native Australians didn't. Hence their respective situations in their countries even to this day.
True. Also, Maori society seems to have been more settled and hierarchical. This would count as "civilization" in the European mind.
 
D

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Shewer, the Maori put up a fight, but they still got their asses spanked.

It's nice to see the Lions et al stand and respect the haka. In the 19th century the standard British response would have been:


"Front rank, fire!"

"Rear rank, fire! Rear rank, advance!"
 

parentheses

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I think the last officially sanctioned massacre of Australian Aborigines was in 1928.


.
 

GDPR

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There were over 100 or so aboriginal groups each with different cultures and over 250 languages. Yes, they were hunted or died from diseases in their 1000s. I know of one English lord who hunted down an aboriginal and had his skin brought back to England to display with pride in his game room.

Aboriginal cultures are quite different from the Maori and I don't think you can really compare the Australian experience with the NZ one, except that whites dominated. Maoris may be more integrated now, but I worked with a NZ white woman who thought they were the biggest whingers always asking for handouts. I am sure she is not alone in her opinion.

There is now an Aboriginal "middle class" who have benefited from a lot of government policies over decades. This includes substantial land rights. Some of these lands are used traditionally. There is also the remnants of aboriginal cultures from the east coast who have no real lands now. Many Aboriginals have taken to Western business practices and have been quite successful. So there is integration but probably more western than Aboriginal. There is still a lot of work to be done.
 

redneck

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I was in Australia in 2014. There was a lot of emphasis on Aboriginal culture. They have their flag which flies outside a lot of Government buildings alongside the official one. The Northern Territory is where a lot of native people live also. So I disagree with the OP
 

Mushroom

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Does anyone know how members of the Maori would feel about being likened to the Australian Aboriginals? Would they be insulted by the comparison?
 

GDPR

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I was in Australia in 2014. There was a lot of emphasis on Aboriginal culture. They have their flag which flies outside a lot of Government buildings alongside the official one. The Northern Territory is where a lot of native people live also. So I disagree with the OP
I haven't been in Oz since the early 1990s so it is good to get a bit of an update. I did work (from time to time) with Aboriginal Affairs (government) and Aboriginal culture (academia) so I have a bit of a background. Its also likely I have Aboriginal relatives (father from Queensland) but I have never met them.
 
D

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I was in Australia in 2014. There was a lot of emphasis on Aboriginal culture. They have their flag which flies outside a lot of Government buildings alongside the official one. The Northern Territory is where a lot of native people live also. So I disagree with the OP
Pilger's a pinko liberal IMO, but he does make some good documentaries. This is worth watching:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ht8_5UlcgSQ


https://novaworkboard.wordpress.com/2012/12/12/poverty-in-new-zealand-how-disparities-between-maori-and-non-maori-continue-to-rise/

I would be reluctant to draw conclusions about New Zealand from The Lord of the Rings trilogy and rugby union.
 

Catalpast

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Nevertheless the Maoris are now a Minority in their own Lands

The victims of Mass Immigration....
 

Wascurito

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I was in Australia in 2014. There was a lot of emphasis on Aboriginal culture. They have their flag which flies outside a lot of Government buildings alongside the official one. The Northern Territory is where a lot of native people live also. So I disagree with the OP
You can't really argue with the statistics.
 

Alphonse

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Europeans tried to recreate there own culture inside Australia to point of burning down tropical forests and replacing them with grass sheep and even fox's to hunt. It's bizarre and a little bit sad to see Hawthorn bushes and rabbits running around in what was once a completely different environment.
 

GDPR

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coniston_massacre


31 dead officially, but perhaps up to 170 men, women and children...
New Zealanders actually successfully resisted a plan by HMG to join them Australia and a large part of the reason for them doing so was their fears about what would happen to the Maori population if that happened. I have heard that as late as the 1980s White Australian used to hunt aboriginals for "sport".
 


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