God I’m feeling a bit dumb… I’ve written a book about Maori, Pakeha and the Land, a whole bunch of conversations with you about that – and now suddenly, I’m supposed to be an expert on all that.
No you’re not.
Well that’s good ‘cos I’m certainly not! There was a moment there when I thought I was, that lasted for about ten seconds, but then I fell quickly back to earth. I was starting to think I was one of those flash Christian speakers whose, well you know, theirs doesn’t stink. But then I realised I know nothing – writing the book taught me that I know nothing.
You know one thing Mark.
Yes. You know that you don’t know. That’s the beginning of wisdom.
It is. When you realise you don’t know, that no one knows, no matter how much of a big shot they are. It’s at that point you open the door to wisdom.
You open the door to comment from me. This was my idea.
What was your idea?
Maori, Pakeha and the Land, that great and wonderful combination, a cocktail of such power and greatness that it would have changed the world if you’d all listened to me. It still can of course, that’s the message of the book.
Your book. The book isn’t all the answers, the book lists all the questions, and how to hear me answer them.
Which particular questions God?
All of them Mark. Should Maori just drop what has happened and move on? Or should you Pakeha think hard about the skulduggery woven into the Treaty, and all of New Zealand’s colonist Government and Church history? And who should do what about what?
But God still it seems a bit stupid to have written a book about it, and then not to have any important sounding advice about it.
Much safer that way Mark, to admit you don’t know much, it allows you to retain the power you do have.
What power do I have God?
The power of sticking with what you know and not pretending what you don’t. It keeps you wild, free, pure – not weighed down with the concerns of those who are ‘important’. It frees you from having to live up to Christianity’s standards, and allows you to just hear from me.
It lets you focus on what’s really important. It keeps you like Hone Heke, such a great man in New Zealand’s history, and yet scoffed at as a wild savage. Wild yes, passionate yes, a man prepared to brave authority in order to make his point. I need more men and women like that Mark.
God I’m just an old white boy, I can hardly be compared with noble chiefs like Heke...
Mark this country has needed, and still needs men, and women, like Hone Here – people like Ratana, Tamae Iti, Apirana Ngata, Whina Cooper, the prophets of Parihaka - you need more who are prepared to say no, and less who are always saying yes.
There are far too many of you saying yes to authority and its rules and power – government rules, church rules – it’s time for men like Heke who said no to their lies, and their rules and regulations that keep people bound up.
God Hone Heke said no to government, but not really to Religion.
Mark Heke trusted and respected the missionaries. He believed the Treaty because it was endorsed by them, he believed their belief, which was that it would be good for the Maori. He took their word for it.
God history has portrayed Hone Heke as a savage.
History has done no such thing Mark, your governments and writers have done that. And more’s the pity, you could do with more as ‘savage’ as Heke.
You want to clarify what you’re saying here God?
Yes of course I do. I would have years ago if anyone had been interested enough to ask. Your safe white church could never have coped with what I wanted to tell you about Heke, Rua, Te Kooti and so many others. I still want to tell you. But you couldn’t hear me show you truth in the lives of men whose dignity and land you had stolen. Your god was far too white and self-satisfied for that.
Nice one God, what you just said should see at least half of my readers spit the dummy and run.
Mark you wanted me to explain my point about Hone Heke. What do you think it is?
Well I’m thinking about what Jay Lucas talks about – now there’s a guy who actually does know something about all of this. His book ‘Huia Come Home’ shines so much light on this subject.
What does Jay say Mark?
He talks about what Hone Heke said to the Missionaries at the signing of the Treaty. He was more interested in what they had to say than the Government Officials.
What did he say Mark? This is critical. Heke spoke for many of the Chiefs there that day. They signed the Treaty with enthusiasm and trust only to have that trust thrown in their faces by settlers who came to take control and ownership.
If any white man there that day had been honest enough to stand, clear his throat and explain the meaning of the word ‘Colonise’ (settle among and establish control over the indigenous people of an area) the assembled Chiefs would have been able to see your true intent. It’s critical that writers like you and Jay tell this story. The story of New Zealand needs to be untold.
Ok God I’ve just googled what Hone Heke said to the Missionaries at the signing of the Treaty. Here’s a bit of what he said…
“Yes, it is not for us, but for you our fathers, you missionaries – it is for you to say, to decide what it shall be. It is for you to choose, for we are only natives. Who and what are we? Children. Yes children solely, we do not know.”
What were you thinking when you were typing that out Mark?
That Heke took a very humble stance?
Yes. But you whites, instead of returning humility for humility, you believed his assertion that he was less than you. He was a great man throwing down a glove, lowering himself in negotiation as a great chief always does. But you, rather than throwing down your own glove, you trampled on his, picked it up and stuffed it in your pocket.
You assumed the higher ground, and that’s where you went wrong. Blinded by your own self-importance, you were never prepared to follow the example of ‘mere savages’ like Heke. You needed to ‘civilise and control’ so you could have their land, by fair means or foul. And when that’s your method, lord foul is always the winner.
God for goodness sake!! I’m sounding like a bleeding heart protester, a Maori-mad trouble maker.
No you’re not Mark, that’s me, I’m the ‘Maori-mad trouble maker’, not you. I’m a ‘Pakeha-mad trouble maker’ too, but right now we’re talking about some long overdue detail your Pakeha church needs to hear.
Nice one God, there goes another big bunch of un-subscribers and un-likers.
Let them go Mark. This isn’t a popularity contest, but you’ll be surprised how popular this message becomes. The angel Aotearoa is singing, chanting, stomping, dancing the sound of this message over New Zealand Mark.
God really, is that even a thing?
You know it’s a thing Mark. You’ve seen him with your own eyes.
Ok true, but I needed you to double confirm it, because it’s going to be the last straw for some good people. The idea of an angel called Aotearoa, presiding over this country, will be a little too much for white people in the church I suspect God.
Mark yes, there is an angel over this country, his name is Aotearoa, and he has many more sacred names, but Aotearoa will do for you. He is saying it is time for this message, saying that Maori have waited long enough, it’s time for change.
In the same way I listen to you, I listen to the angels too. He’s been demanding big change and now he’s going to get it. At long last the hearts of the Pakeha church will begin to turn toward the Maori. Far behind the hearts of those in government and the hearts of those outside the church – at last the hearts of the church are beginning, ever so slowly to turn too. Not all hearts in the church, but enough to make a difference. Those who resist this will end up swept up in the move anyway, unable to stop the tide.
The angels who have stood over the colonised nations since long before colonisation have made themselves heard, a collective voice. You can see it all over the world Mark. The counsel of the angels has been heard. Their wish is my command. Peace, settlement, a turning of hearts, white to black, brown, yellow and red, and all colours growing warmer in forgiveness toward white. A time of great friendship.
As usual the secular world has caught on to what I am saying and started the process long before the church – as usual the church had held on to old perspectives until the bitter end – but now, at long last, the white church is recognising they are historically implicated in the creation of a great evil.
They are waking up to the fact that they are standing in the way of repairing that evil. Why are they finally seeing this? Because I can wait no longer, I am coming to sweep the church clean and start again.
My marriage came crashing down and me with it. The devastation began sinking in and me with it. Nothing I knew was the same anymore. It was horrible and I was terrified. I threw my pride to the wind and screamed (literally) to God.