Tuesday, August 22, 2006


I don’t really have much to comment on the subject, but it seems wrong to go without mentioning that a major New Zealand event has happened. Last week, the Maori queen passed away, and Monday, after a week-long tangi (longer than is traditional, but they wanted to accommodate all the mourners), she was being buried and her eldest son named as successor.

Mostly why I have no comment is that I have little understanding about the Kingitanga (the Maori King Movement), either its history or its current issues. However, it has still been interesting to watch the reactions of my Maori friends and coworkers. Something I have heard a lot is “She wasn’t my queen.” However, this has not been said in the way I would say “George Bush is not my president.” Because the royal family is from the Tainui region (south of Auckland), it seems like people who are not from that region or that iwi do not feel as connected to her or to the throne. When the new successor was named this morning (they brought a TV into the office so we could watch), there were a lot of reactions as there would be to the naming of any political successor. Unfortunately, the reactions pretty much had no context, and since half of what was going on, both on TV and in the office was spoken in te reo, I was really left clueless. My te reo is definitely improving, but not that much.

So since I actually live here and don't really know much about the topic, I figure my non-Kiwi readers are in a similar situation. So here are some links to educate yourself with.


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