New Zealand Listener

SINS OF OMISSION

The news last week that the Māori Council wants “racism out” by 2040 raises the question of why we have racism at all in Aotearoa.

An important reason is that the history taught in our schools has been seriously deficient. It has not necessarily been a deliberate lie, but rather history by omission. It is always the victor who writes the history and it’s written from their perspective. The trick is to retrospectively recognise and honestly accept what has happened here in Aotearoa.

However, it’s very difficult when Pākehā have never experienced colonialism themselves. I got an insight into that when, in 1973, I quit my job as a reporter with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and went backpacking through Asia.

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