NZ anthem spiritual mumbo-jumbo

HA, what a laugh! Maori singing songs to rivers and claiming they have a special right to water and wind. Let’s charge them every time there is a flood.

How about those Muslim women? Won’t let men see them out of veil. Take them to the Human Rights Commission!

As a non-believer, I don’t have a lot of time for religion, be it Christianity, Islam or Maori “spiritual” beliefs. So, if the Waitangi Tribunal, in its latest findings, talks about Maori believing that rivers have a mauri, or life-force, and taniwha lurking in the depths, shouldn’t I be loudly ridiculing such mumbo-jumbo?

Perhaps, but the thing is, I’m not Maori. And while I don’t personally hold spiritual beliefs about rivers, many Maori do. And the tribunal must take those beliefs into account. The tribunal isn’t saying that there are taniwha in the Waikato. Read more


Dave Armstrong is a writer for theatre and television.

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