The Wokeists in company with a small number of radical extremists have been falsifying NZ history for some time now, but their new narrative often clashes with the facts:

MP Karaitiana Takamoana (Eastern Maori) in c.1871 tried to pass legislation to force all Maori school children to learn only in English. According to Parliament’s website, he did not himself speak English. However, he did dress himself up and otherwise indulge in expensive Western ‘urban sophisticaiton’. For example, this chief went into debt building his own, large, Maori Club House in Napier and ended up having to sell off his people’s land to cover the damage.”

PETITION OF WI TE HAKIRO AND 336 OTHERS (PART OF)

[TRANSLATION.] — 7. “NATIVE SCHOOLS ACT, 1867.”

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[Translation.]
7. “Native Schools Act, 1867.”

We desire that “The Native Schools Act, 1867,” should be amended to this effect:—Let there be two classes of schools. First, for all children knowing only their own Maori tongue, also having a knowledge of all Maori customs. These should be taught to read in Maori, to write in Maori, and arithmetic. Second, all children of two years old, when they are just able to speak, should be taught the English language, and all the knowledge which you the Europeans possess. If this plain and easy course be followed, our children will soon attain to the acquirements of the Europeans.

With reference to the first proposal, that only three things should be taught to those who can only speak Maori, we explain our reasons. First, the extreme difficulty of teaching them the English language; second and most important, even if the youths were to attain to the acquirements which are taught to them, after they have long been speaking nothing but Maori and observing only Maori customs if they were to return to their Maori kaingas, it would not be long before they fell away and became as those who had not been to school at all, or a good deal worse.

This is a great waste of public money and of the land of the parents of the children; also it is a waste of time. We have an example set us in this respect by the results from many former schools: those who did not attend them are better than those who did. Here is the case of a boy at that time educated at the Roman Catholic School. He was afterwards taken to Rome, and educated further in the colleges; he attained to high acquirements and knowledge of many languages—Latin, Hebrew, Greek, English, French and many other foreign languages. He was ordained a priest, and came back to act as Roman Catholic clergyman amongst the Maoris of his place, Hokianga. After living with the Maoris of his tribe for two or three years, he abandoned his office and relapsed into his former state. Those children who did not go to Rome became superior to him. The time and money of the Roman Catholics expended upon him might as well have been thrown into the sea; and all the schools in which our children have hitherto been educated have only had the same result, and thinking will anticipate only the same thing in the future.

Had our children received a good sound education, it would have been for the benefit of both races, and there would have been a return for the public moneys spent, and also for the lands of the Maoris given and the time spent, in the education of the children. PAGE 3

It is very distressing, lest it be like unto the man and the schools above referred to; if so, the expense incurred, the endowments and the time spent, might as well be thrown into the sea.

With reference to the second proposal, it was thought that the little children should be taught English, &c., so that the first language which they might be able to speak should be English. They could at that age pick it up very easily; and when the child was ready to take to school, he (or she) would go speaking English, and thus there would be no confusion with the teachers.

It is important to consider that should these children acquire knowledge, it would be of a permanent character. It would be very difficult for them to pick up again the Maori customs from which they had been separated when quite little; they would have to be taught those customs in a school for that purpose, if they wanted to learn them for their amusement. This system would repay fully all the outlay. You should bear in mind this proverb, “If you want to pull up a kauri tree, you must do it when it is little;” so with the education of our children, they should be taught when plaint.

This system has been tried by one of us—namely, Hirini Rawiri Taiwhanga—during the last five years; and his younger children display great aptitude and quickness in learning English. He had fourteen children, eleven of them Maoris, and in addition there were three European children, who taught the others to speak English. There are now seven left, two having died, two have returned to their parents, two have been sent to European schools, and one white child has been sent home.

The children taken to the European schools belong to Hene Mohi Tawhai and Honi Tuhirangi. The latter’s child gives great pleasure to his teacher, for he had a good knowledge of English when he went to his school, and it is very clear that if children were taught in that way at school and could afford the expense they would soon acquire European knowledge.

Read the rest on Victoria University’s Electronic Text Centre.