August 09, 2015
Whenever there is mention of the Treaty of Waitangi, Kiwis seem to be split down the middle many people still don't want to hear about the massive injustices that Maori went through.
There are more and more Kiwis though who want to know the full story, who want the real history of this country told and Multimillionaire businessman Gareth Morgan is one of those people. Last week I was the MC at an event that he sponsored which was the release of The Talk Treaty Exhibition where 60 well known Kiwis were interviewed over their views over the treaty.
I like Morgan and his values. We all know he is loaded but he is a very generous person when it comes to putting his money to support worthy charities and causes. He sees lively and robust debate about the Treaty as a worthy cause and has put his cash towards kiwis understanding what that document means to us as a nation.
Earlier this year Morgan was accused by some sections of the media of labelling Pakeha blissfully ignorant when it comes to the Treaty of Waitangi. That didn’t go down well, but what Morgan is really wanting is debate and a conversation about this issue. That’s what Talk Treaty is all about.
As well as this the Talk Treaty Exhibition and road show intends to provide a safe environment for people, to encourage them to share their thoughts on the Treaty and issues related to it such as race relations, without us going to war.
Not everyone will agree with where Morgan stands or why he would fund this, as was probably the case at the launch and no doubt will be the case as this exhibition is taken around the country. But there’s no doubting this man’s sincerity and courage.
The Talks launch guests saw many of the movers and grovers from all around Auckland come together. As well Former National Leader and Reserve Bank Manager Dr Don Brash, National big wig Michelle Boa and representatives from the political party’s attended.
However the highlight of the evening were the speeches given by Dame Tariana Turia, Dame Claudia Orange, Dame Joan Metge and Professor Ranginui Walker. All of these speakers were provocative but their views were respected because they have devoted their lives to giving the Maori perspective and the right history regarding the Treaty of Waitangi. So it was an honor for all of us to hear such high calibre people speaking at this launch.
Gareth Morgan opened the speeches for the night and gave an excellent speech about why we needed to tell the right history, why all New Zealanders should have to learn Te Reo Maori and why the Treaty of Waitangi was so important to all New Zealanders. He was rightfully given a great ovation for his speech and support for the Treaty of Waitangi.
While he is not the first pakeha to support the Maori cause and the Maori perspective over the treaty he is certainly the richest. Let’s hope more of his ilk take up the challenges that he has laid down.
TUNE INTO PAAKIWAHA WITH WILLIE JACKSON – CURRENT AFFAIRS FROM A MAORI PERSPECTIVE – ON RADIO WAATEA MONDAY MORNING ROM 10AM – MIDDAY
Copyright © 2015, UMA Broadcasting Ltd: www.waateanews.com