December 21, 2022
The Kaipara Council Prayer: Western Secularism vs Indigenous Mana
Opinion: The Kaipara Council Prayer: Western Secularism vs Indigenous Mana
The debate around saying a Māori prayer to open the Kaipara Council has set off angry reactions from both sides as two forces collide, Western Secularism vs Indigenous Mana.
Somehow this has become a culture war where defenders of banning the prayer claim its inclusion is a direct affront to the philosophical and intellectual values of Western Secularism while Māori are left angrily frustrated that once again they have to somehow demand their own customs and values are respected in the land of their home.
While I am an absolute believer in Western Secularism and its power and importance, I in no way shape or form see a blessing from the indiginous people of our nation opening a civic meeting is somehow any infringement on the separation of State and Church!
Firstly, the liberal poprgressive democracy that Western Secularism has built has the flexibility and strength of being inclusive of minority rights and indiginous culture.
Secondly, this isn’t a culture war! It’s basic respect and cultural courtesy!
This is Aotearoa New Zealand in the year 2022. You open a civic meeting, public event, or political occasion with a karakia, because we are mature enough to see that as a strength rather than a capitulation of Western Civilization.
When the haka is performed, it’s for all New Zealanders, just as a karakia is for all New Zealanders.
The need to paint this Kaipara Council karakia as an existential threat to New Zealand democracy is desperate, ridiculous and beneath the mana of all of us as Kiwis.
Our biculturalism in a multicultural society is a strength, not a weakness.
Editor – TheDailyBlog.nz
Radio Waatea and its board would like to advise that the opinions expressed in t his article are those of Martyn ‘Bomber Bradbury’ and not necessarily the views of Radio Waatea, its Management or its Board.