Karl du Fresne is not impressed by primitive superstition being delivered straight-faced on the news:
Due respect for Maori culture is one thing. Expecting us to swallow primitive superstition is quite another – yet I heard a reporter on Morning Report this morning solemnly relaying a Maori warning that recent volcanic activity on White Island and Mt Tongariro was a sign that Ruamoko, the god of earthquakes and volcanoes, was unhappy about the way the government was proceeding with the partial sale of state assets. This comes only a couple of weeks after the Maori Council’s lawyer, Felix Geiringer, invoked the Maori belief in taniwha at the Waitangi Tribunal hearing on water rights. . .
. . . As if citing taniwha wasn’t bad enough, we’re reduced to an even more abject embrace of stone-age superstition when the state-owned radio network can report, with a straight face, that the Maori god of earthquakes and volcanoes is cutting up rough because he (she?) doesn’t like what the government is doing.
What next? Will we be told that Tangaroa, the sea god, plans to unleash a tsunami that will rise up from Wellington Harbour and destroy the Beehive? Will Radio New Zealand report that John Key is at risk of being hit by a bolt of lightning directed at his head by Tawhirimatea, the weather god? . . .
Are the gods left wing or has their ire been raised by policies from the left in the past?
If they’re going to get angry, why only about politics?
Why can’t they be enraged about child abuse; educational failure; gang culture; violence; drug, alcohol and gambling addiction; crime . . . and instead of directing their tantrums at innocent bystanders, couldn’t they aim it at the perpetrators?
If gods care about assets and water shouldn’t they also care about people?