A challenge to Alan Duff’s damaging words

Alan Duff, I find it hard to know where to start. As a mother of two beautiful Māori girls – you have offended my whānau deeply. Our immediate kura and kōhanga community and my girls hapū and iwi. In fact many Māori will be upset now, because your latest opinion piece infers that child abuse is a part of Māori life . This is simply not true, and so I will challenge you on the broad, ad-hock and completely disconnected statements you have made. Also, I will not stomach your sexist attitude, that reinforces the gender power imbalances which are the undercurrents for almost all domestic violence cases.

There is enough Māori bashing, enough racism and enough misogyny around without you adding to it. It defies belief that a Māori man could misrepresent his own people so hurtfully, be so blatantly sexist and willingly lead people astray on an issue that intersects several deeply embedded problems in our society: colonisation, systemic poverty and patriarchy. When what we need most is robust discussion and analysis.

I feel frustrated at the amount of airtime you get to spread your views, and don’t wish to give you or the Herald anymore, however – I cannot ignore you this time. The public need an alternative.

I hear and feel your outrage at the shocking levels of child abuse we withstand in our country. Most people do. Māori children are twice as likely to suffer any form of abuse. It’s not ok. You are right.

As a Pākehā woman, I won’t talk too much to the disparaging comments you have made about Māori, as that is a mantle for Māori to take up – I will not tread on toes. But I will go into depth regarding your sexism.

So here we go, I’m going to flip your script. Here are your comments, followed by what I hear.

Some Maori have no moral values because they’re not taught them. Violence is perfectly acceptable behaviour, indeed admired; whether it’s king-hitting a stranger in a pub, beating up the wife or partner, thrashing their children.

FTS – Yes, some Māori do not have a good moral compass, but you could say this for any ethnicity.

It must be instilled in everyone’s brains from a young age that certain behaviours are totally unacceptable. Love must be taught as the founding base for a successful family. Education as the way forward. Every act of violence except in self-defence must be socially outlawed, considered a shameful let-down of the entire community.

FTS – Yes, agreed. Again, this applies to all people. Moving right along.

Cultural leaders should review the entire kapa haka syllabus, I believe. I’m sick of the screaming, eye-popping haka. The standard of predictable, simplistic singing should be lifted.

FTS – What the hell?! Where does this bit come from? Do you understand kapahaka? Do you get that haka and waiata come in innumerable forms which have many uses! What you may be talking about is the cherry picked haka that mainstream media trot out to represent ‘good Māori’ and the ‘kiwi way of life’. These haka are great, don’t get me wrong. But they are a drop in the vast ocean. This comment is so offensive, to all Māori who waiata daily, whose tikanga practices incorporate haka, mōteatea and patere – and the list goes on. And to all composers of kapahaka – these are incredible people. Taonga. Have you ever been to Matatini? You are buying into the colonisers simplistic interpretation of haka. It is all much more than a supposed incitement of violence. The worst thing about this, is that your comment represents so many others.

When you say “The standard of predictable, simplistic singing should be lifted” What I hear is  is “be more nice and lovely on the side, just a little flourish here and there, so as not to unsettle those who do not understand.”

For those of us who are involved in Te Ao Māori, this sentiment is so tiring, it so boring.

Now here is the doosy……

In everyday life, my opinion is girls should be brought up like the French are: to be feminine, take a pride in how they dress, walk with dignity and grace wherever they go out in public and always keep the standards.

FTS – WHAT HAS THIS GOT TO DO WITH THE PRICE OF IKAAAAAAA?!?!? OMG, wrong number Alan. I’m going to keep this one simple for you, like bullet point simple. Seems you need a feminism 101 lecture.

  • Do not insult French girls and women by minimising their existences to their dress, the way the move one foot in front of the other and their choice in how they express themselves. On behalf of all French people, I am truly sorry.
  • Girls are taught to be nice, accommodating, uncomplaining, quiet and meek – all the time. Men are taught the opposite. This is one of the biggest factors in our gender imbalances. This plays out in its most dangerous form in volatile relationships and domestic violence. This is a cause of domestic violence for goodness sake and YOU have just advocated for it. GIRLS MUST NOT BE NICE and SMILE in the face of bullshit. WOMEN’S dignity is in the respect they receive from others, for being whoever they want to be. You have no place defining what is graceful or not for women. Who’s standards? Yours? Men’s? Go get.

    Kia ora, I’m Alan Duff and I like long walks on the beach and women who ‘keep the standard’
  • What does feminine even mean? You need to understand Gender Essensialism:Gender essentialism often excuses gender-based oppressions and discriminations in societies, such as what roles parents play, what jobs people hold, expectations held of each other and skill bases. Gender essentialism simultaneously reinforces gender stereotypes, while being informed by them. Gender essentialism relies on the perpetuation of a binary, polarised world, free of ambiguity, where two neat tidy genders exist and know their place in the world.  – So yeah, no thanks. DO NOT tell women that they need to be feminine. They can be if they want, how they want. We certainly do not need another man telling us how to be.
  • Rape culture, you also need to know about this. Because what I heard you say is that somehow, women need to take responsibility for the ‘reasons’ they are attacked by men. That what they wear, how they move, what ‘standards’ they uphold – lead to the actions that men take. – Rape culture as a term is designed to show the ways in which society blames victims of sexual assault and normalises male sexual violence. It is a culture that encourages boys and men to be macho and aggressive, and girls and women to be submissive and compliant. A society that allows a quarter of women and girls to be raped or sexually assaulted, and 1/6 of men and boys. Where 3 per cent of rapists are jailed after just 6 per cent of rapes and assaults are ever reported. A social culture in which rape jokes and cat calls are heard and normalised, where the male gaze pervades pop music and the visual arts. Where children are sexualised by clothing and toy companies. Rape culture has implications for all and is everyone’s issue regardless of gender.
Dear Duffy, I hope your dreams are filled with Māori women being dignified with amazing standards. I know mine are: of my daughters growing up like this.


Boys should be taught to respect females.

FTS – Why, yes they should. How about reversing everything you said about what women need to do above, and apply it to boys and men too, that would be a good start. A few other things would help too:

  • Educating, and then ignoring the ‘Boys will be boys’ brigade. We don’t need to hear it anymore. The buck stops. Accountability is made. No more excuses.
  • Again, you have positioned women as passive actors. As if it is only boys and men who have the control and power to make change. Untrue. Girls can be taught differently too. They must be empowered. Boys must be empowered. Girls can lead the technology group and boys can cry if they fall over, simple as.
  • Finally, go and research heteronormativity: Heteronormativity are the actions of a gender essentialist’s ideal world, one in which men and women fall into distinct categories with clear roles and expectations, where heterosexuality is the norm reinforced in power structures such as legislation and the media. I say this because many LGBTQ people are attacked every day for not being man or woman enough. I guess, for some women, your logic says it is their fault for not being feminine and holding up the right standards. Still, I don’t know what these standards are. One can only guess. Actually, I don’t want to know about your yucky standards.

There would be no shame in taking a leaf out of the Chinese book where parents, family members, all work hard to push a few more up into the educated or business-owning bracket. Reading has to be an essential part of that home environment.

FTS –  Again, where does this come from? Do you mean that Māori don’t try hard enough? That they don’t have hopes and dreams for their whānau?! Privilege check Alan, Poverty: it excludes a lot of Māori from tertiary education. Regardless of how supportive any family is, not everyone wins in monopoly. Not every whānau wants to operate in this pushy Chinese style you speak of. Not all Chinese do. Don’t be racist.

Yes, I love reading too. So do my Māori children. So does their kura.

Pre-European Maori culture was simple and no blame is attached. But I think it is when this too basic societal model is applied in the 21st century.

FTS – Ok, now you are just sounding outright crazy. It’s not like my partner and daughters have just stepped out of a cave wielding kotiate or anything….because this is what I hear. Guess what, all cultures evolve – and the picture you paint of pre-colonial Aotearoa is untrue. Anne Salmond illustrates this beautifully. Guess what, the European colonisers of Aotearoa have really out done everyone else throughout history (an continue to do so) in the violent, black and white, good vs bad, uncivilised vs civilised approach to solving issues. War war, everywhere.

Everyone had a Jake as a father, older brother, any number of uncles. Some were women.

FTS- Yes, it is ok for a woman to be called Jake, or to be a non-feminine woman, sure (I don’t think this is what you meant though, but I like to think it is). Everyone had Jake as a Dad? Again, you’ve overstepped the mark. This is just not true. Maybe you did, and we are sorry for that. That was not ok. It sucks.

And finally:

And someone has to point out that cultural activities do not get them a job or a mortgage.

FTS – Again, lies. Heaps of people make a living in the arts. Heaps of Māori do. They are awesome at it. Isn’t this what you meant in your remarks about haka earlier? Now I am confused. Also, YOU WRITE BOOKS AND MAKE FILMS FOR A LIVING…….these are cultural activities and THESE ARE YOUR JOBS. Or am I missing something?

And who wants a mortgage anyway (ha ha ha, rolling around in maniacal laughter, because – who buys a house these days?!?…..cue housing crisis conversation). Please refer back to how not everyone can win monopoly – capitalism and neo-liberalism is actually killing the planet. I’ll have more singing, dancing and visual arts in my life any day. Not everyone is in it for a 9-5 office job and not all Māori are deeply involved in whatever it is you are reducing to and relegating as ‘cultural activities’. Or if they do work 9-5, sweet as. Good for them, not your place to judge.

And actually, these cultural activities that I think you are referring to are intrinsic to being Māori . The problem is, that people like you come along – and say that violence against women and children is somehow intrinsic to being Māori – and that crucial elements like the ‘arts’ (ie things that are part and parcel of operating in Te Ao Māori) are a waste of time for Māori. How wrong you are.

To me, herein lies the solution.


46 thoughts on “A challenge to Alan Duff’s damaging words

  1. He’s talking about himself – his upbringing – his life.
    Trying to make money by selling his thoughts to the ignorant who buy
    Sorry about your past –
    But in truth – you havn’t really changed much – have you?


    1. This is a good way to see it. He is being a blinkered in not acknowledging the wider context of the issue that Māori family violence sits in. He could have for example, shown the circumstances that led to the social situations in Once Were Warriors. I know that would be another whole movie, but he could have woven some aspects in.


  2. he has always belittled Maori he use to put in the rotorua review i didnt like what i read he must have a problem within he trying to let it out what he has been threw so he needs help he should realy be stopped this is a criminal offence worser than metal abuse


  3. Alan Duff is a twit, he hasn’t lived in NZ for years the guy lives in France and probably wants to try and remain relevant in New Zealand somehow and how best to do that then stir the pot, which he is good at, but he has always lacked substance. Anyone with an ounce of sense wouldn’t bother listening to the words of a guy who took of to France, to avoid a huge tax bill with the IRD, sad irrelevant stirrer

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Interesting comment that he makes about the French, as if they have it altogether. I have a friend from Matamata who does a lot of Church growth work in Europe, especially France and Belgium. We recently did a workshop with him. He made this comment. “If you think that abuse towards women and children is bad here in NZ, you should go to those two countries” From what he has seen on the ground, It’s much much worse.
    You only have to look around the world to know that family violence is not central to just one country or culture, but all over.


    1. Violence against women and children is but one symptom of living in a world, where men are encouraged and praised for exploiting others and the environment for their own gain. As you say, this happens everywhere!


  5. Amazing response, he just as no idea, you forgot to mention he made money making a movie and writing books, pretty sure that’s culture and art right there.


    1. AND there is not a french woman I know who would not simply dismiss this old fashioned verbal bullying, thinly disguising what in anyone else would be termed mysogynistic racism …. it is a mistake, I believe, to assume only people with white skins are racists – even Te Ururoa Flavell has posted a picture of himself in his “I’m a recovering racist” T-shirt. Explaining AD’s behaviour (talking is a behaviour for me) on the basis of his assumed upbringing perpetuates the family violence issue for me – it MIGHT be an explanation, it is still no excuse. We know that children of all cultures grow up in violent situations, and often not even in homes, and at the hands of savagely violent so-called “parents” / monitors / child exploiters of many types, and do not continue that behaviour themselves. There is always that moment of choice between lifting one’s hand and then actually following through to assault a child.

      Good on you FTS for your post … I suspect he will just insult you in the same way he most likely dismisses anyone female who disagrees with him, I can just see the patronising, superior sneer on his privileged face … the colonial words for that is grandiose arrogance. And that can be found in any people, regardless of who colonised their country. Once Were Warriors takes on a different light the more one finds out about what AD REALLY believes and brought to that work. I do believe ADs film ripped a plaster off a huge silence in this country at the time family violence…. and he is perhaps still looking after that plaster … time for new voices, new ways of fostering non-violent Maori ways, and stories of Maori who have grown up in colonsed this culture and forged their lives on difference values. I meet such young people on a regular basis – of all skin colours.


  6. Thanks for writing this! I read his article and it annoyed me so much esp the ‘women need to be more feminine’ bit. What a dinosaur. You said what I wanted to 🙂


  7. You have hit the nail on the head. DV is of course a way of a person usually a male but not always to empower themselves by belittling and abusing someone else. We need to see more women involved in business and in politics we need to have more women on tv being reporters and news anchors. We need to have less male sport on TV and more documentaries and knowledge based programming. We need to have less demonizing of the feminine and I think at school we should have courses regarding respect and morality rather than a lot of other courses, This is a personal perspective.


  8. Alan duff ya duff. Go do some research on the benefits of Kapa haka! Improves social skills, communication, emotional regulation, team work, discipline, respect, Mana whilst using a Maori worldview which doesnt fit our Western education model…list goes on fool.


  9. Have tried a number of times to write something meaningful for Duff but no go. Best that I focus on your great challenge to his damaging words. You’ve felt deep and for us all, and you have captured the heart of the matter through your analysis of the exciting world of kaupapa Maori. I guess your words will wash right over him but you have certainly positioned Te Ao Maori up the maunga where it belongs. It’s a shame that some like Duff get left behind but you can’t win ’em all. Kia kaha tonu tatou, ake, ake, ake!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ngā mihi Huhana! I feel a bit worried as a Pāhekā woman sometimes, what I am able to comment on, and when it is not my place to say. But having Māori daughters, I could not stand aside when Duff let his latest ignorant-bomb drop! Not acceptable. Te Ao Māori is fantastic, I will not stand by while it is dragged through the mud. There is so much that people do not know. Out of fear of engagement, being worried of getting it wrong, I don’t know. But they are missing out!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Awesome piece of writing. The perfect amount of fact, opinion and humour to show that Alan Duffs brain is the size of a pea. I feel bad for him, he’s one of those people lost in the middle, not brown enough to be maori and too brown to be pakeha. Poor man.


    1. He is not alone in this dilemma, whether it is from the outside forces or within, it can be hard to ‘be in the middle’ as you say. However, this is also where there are so many misconceptions, we are all mongrels to some extent, I like to think. And the task is to find a path we can walk in our own lives respectful of others, and paths we walk together


    2. I think peas were insulted. 🙂 At least peas are useful as nutritious food. I’d have gone with gone with a pebble-sized hailstone, something more potentially destructive. Or at least noisier.

      Hasn’t he figured out that culture is what makes us human, and that Māori culture in all its wonderful diversity and uniqueness must be preserved? It’s a human imperative.


  11. Your replies are the powerful and meaningful
    Standing up against his hurtful words is empowering for us all
    I detest every fact and statistic he bases his “writing” Upon
    These are some thoughts I’ve had for many, many years …
    How are these facts determined, is violence calculated by reported abuse, reported deaths
    Because as a kid I grew up in the most violent, abusive house in our neighborhood, where the experiences have stayed with me a life time. My point is, I’m white as, from irish, Roman Catholic descendants… now, i know for a fact no records of the things that went on in that house were ever recorded by anyone..
    I’m not excusing these crimes, I’m just saying that in my opinion racism is still so sadly alive in this country… Maori are always going to have higher percentages in prison… for equal or lesser crimes because the system is stacked against them
    I’ve always been offended by his work, once were warriors, although a powerful story was so one sided in my opinion, i remember bumping in to Alan Duff once at uni and asking the question “where were all the white abusers in your movie” I’ve been told I missed the point. … maybe

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think the best thing he could have done in Once Were Warriors, would have been to weave some insights into why the family were in the dire straights they were in, why the whole community was. It is not just because of being Māori….it is much more complex. That would have been much more honest. And you are so right, every culture has its dark corners, it is our job to shine light on them so they cannot grow in darkness

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Kei te mihi, kei te mihi, kei te mihi ki a koe, e flipthatscript.
    Kia ora for your korero, for your wairua, and for your strength to write this response to Alan Duff’s blather.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Obviously being paid to slander his own people. Your a brown boy too Alan, but you feel you need to be white to suceed. Its not our fault you have deep underlying issues about being Maori or are ashamed to be Maori. Nothing wrong with being a Maori Alan Duff. As it has already been identified. Colonisation, racism, alcohol, drugs, suppression, mental health etc is rampant. Where do you think these things stem from Alan? Certainly not from Maori. Did Maori make the alcohol? Did they make the cigarettes and drugs? Make sure Alan to always check your facts please. I personally know many Maori families and they are just superb….Lawyers, teachers, doctors, lecturers,actors, etc…..


  14. Seems u have lived a life devoid of bashing and drugs and thievery.
    Nice white diatribe… Puke :/
    Ur rhetoric excuses the facts. Yes the facts that a large group of moari are silent about. Yes the “other” races also have the same behaviour to lesser ratios. Duff is truthful. Ur an idealist living above ground. Get real… And go under the surface. Get into the dirt and be enlightened.
    I’m white and I grew up in northland and experienced every bit of pain my Maori friends did. My friends who slept top and tail in my bed, and me in theirs. We nursed each other’s bloodied faces, raped and broken bodies as 5 year olds through to our teens till we were strong enough to fight back or runaway.
    Get real girl

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Ross, firstly – I’m not a girl, I’m a woman. I hope to draw attention to the fact that the reasons these problems exist, aren’t because of particular cultures, they are because of larger and very powerful forces, mostly patriarchy and racism. So that we can agree on, as you have said, you have felt the same pain your Māori friends have. These forces effect us all, but to what degrees, is very personal. Yes, I am white, and this is my standpoint, just as you have your standpoint. I have no doubt in your experience. And I do not attempt to minimise the realities that are faced in many communities, where bashing, drugs and thievery are rife, such as yours. Māori or otherwise. I most definitely do not excuse them. However, I will not stand by while anyone attempts to brandish an entire culture based on the actions of a few. Duff’s representation of Māori is simply untrue. You will know the depth and beauty of Te Ao Māori in Northland. Duff does speak of a truth, of a reality, but it is not for all. Also, please do not make assumptions about me. You do not know what I have and haven’t seen. I don’t make assumptions of you. It is really difficult to engage in a discussion with someone, when the first communication is an attack. If you want to discuss more, please do. If you want to attack, do not reply.


    2. Yes, we all have different perspectives and different privileges…whether that is privilege of access, knowledge, or platform. Let us converse respectfully and acknowledge other peoples experiences. One of the most powerful privileges in this world, is being a man. All too often women’s experiences are diminished.


      1. Men can do so much better. What are they afraid of? That we’ll do to them what they have done to us if we flip the script in life? Some act like toddlers who’ve had their favorite toy taken away.

        Men’s worst fear about women is that women will laugh at them. Women’s worst fear about men is that men will kill them.

        Heck of a world we have.


  15. To all wahine out there im only disgusted to know that there are pakeha out there but also maori who talk and act pakeha out there that project the Once Were Warriors life onto innocent children and tamariki. Im 20 yrs of age and Maori. My Ancestors and bloodlines all the way across the seas to scottland the likes of William Wallace fought for there country. My Tipuna Fought for there mokopuna and what do they get in return NOTHING but this. Man you kno what bro this sort of attitude reminds me of my great uncle who signed the Treaty Of Waitangi. He told everyone present that he envisioned that there would be spiders scattering inside the marae. Sucking the blood out of the maori people. Guess who the spiders are? well guess what we are the spider treatment so watch out.


  16. FTS, we are all aware of abuse in other cultures. Fact is Maori have a large problem with abuse of children. At a rate of around 5x higher than any other people in NZ. You need to get your head outta the sand. Maori men are 32x more likely to sexually abuse a child. Bleat all you like about ‘racism’. I’ll stick to facts!


    1. I haven’t deviated from facts. And my head is most certainly not in the sand. I’m getting quite frustrated now, at having to go back to my main points. 1) I do not attempt to diminish or excuse violence in anyway 2) I understand and am outraged at the levels of violence in our society, and the disproportionate levels in Māori communities 3) I am at pains to stress that violence is NOT inherent to Māori people. That violence is a horrid symptom of circumstance. These circumstances must be understood if anything at all is to change. That is where racism comes in.


  17. Thank you. I am of Maori and European descent. My mum a Maori and my Father European. I was never ever brought up like the “once were Warriors” movie/book. My family has always been founded on love. We were smacked and given a kick up the bum for misbehaving but never were we beaten to a pulp. My Maori grandparents were so loving and caring and extremely OTT with safety, like we weren’t allowed to play with the beach ball coz it might “blow into the water and we will chase it and drown” we were also always loved and cared for. My Maori grandfather set up all his kids by paying the deposits on their houses and leaving us with his own home as well. Even beyond death he made sure all his whanau were looked after. He was a very strong Maori man. A rangatira of his own right. His father died when he was 11 and he took care of his mother and siblings and continued that loving care on into his own family. Don’t get me wrong, he was a very strict man. But we knew he loved us. anyway I’m going on and on. But I just want to thank you so much for this. Alan Duff seems to be a really hurt man. But his racist and sexist remarks are damaging my people. We aren’t all like that.


    1. Not everyone’s father was Jake eh! Some are, but most aren’t. The important thing is to keep telling these stories, to continue to paint the broadest of pictures – to counteract the pigeonholing and stereotyping. Thanks Amour for your kōrero


  18. I am from Violent background & get where Allan Duff is coming from, his words are direct and to the point & I’m fed up with all the negativity pointed toward this man.
    To those of us who have been at the bottom of the heap this man has been a voice & made positive changes.
    I hope to get the chance to recieve the free books he is giving away to make a difference in our lives.
    Mauri ora.


    1. Hi Moana, I get where he is coming from too, and agree that his story, and those he represents (such as yours) are ones that must be told. I am not seeking to diminish them, or to argue otherwise. However, he cannot expect to paint all Māori, and all Māori culture with the same brush. Life is not that simple. It would be more helpful for him to discuss all the contributing factors to the violence that continues to be experienced in Māori homes, at double the rate of non-Māori. I also take great offense at his odd comments about the way women should be raised. He doesn’t seem to have much insight into gender dynamics and how this understanding is crucial to change in eliminating domestic violence.


  19. Duffs right on the mark. People have to accept responsibility , Maori have a huge incidence of child violence much greater than any other race. Time to wake-up, accept responsibility and fix it. Most Kiwis have had a gutsful of wrong thinking radicals who blame it all on Colonial oppression. Moko, Nia Glassie & the Kahui Twins were all victims of Maori violence. Challenge your belief systems face the responsibility of your own actions. Everyone!


    1. Using a term like ‘race’ in the same sentence as child violence, gives the impression that you think there is something about Māori in particular that makes them commit such violence? I hope I have read this wrong. This is not true. It is about circumstance. I have tried to unpack these for you. It is interesting that you want me to challenge my belief systems – when you don’t seem interested in doing the same. I challenge the ways I think all the time, by reading and listening to others. Yes, the rates of violence are much higher for Māori, so the questions is, why? I would say that our society is still in the ‘accepting responsibility’ phase, and that ‘fixing it’ is going to take a good amount of collective action. Of course everyone has had a gutsful. You will find, and this is the point that I have been trying to make – that everyone, regardless of background, has the ability to commit violent crimes against others. Whether we do or not, depends on our own circumstances and upbringings.


  20. First off let me just say as a Maori mother I 100% agree with the first comment made, because it is what I’ve seen and what I know. May not be the case in your whare however majority of Maori homes, it’s what is done wether you close minded people want to believe it or not WAKE UP because it’s real. From the moment we’re able to comprehend the world, we are subtly taught violent behaviour. How many of you Maori have had a raru with a bully at school? What’s the first thing your mum would say? I’ll tell you what mine and many other Maori mothers would say “Anybody hits you, you hit em back”. I’m not saying I agree with domestic violence, or any type of abuse but when we’re taught that from as early as five years old, we’re going to hold on to that teaching. It’s a frame of mind instilled in our tamariki and it’s a very vicious cycle that I’ve been determined to break free of. Second, I want to say people have opinions, just because they’re not the same as yours does not make them wrong. There’s things you’ve written and I just think “wow, you sound very stupid” but you know what, you don’t see me writting a blog about you! Of coarse some comments made are ridiculous but hey, if you don’t know the man you’ll never know the reasoning behind his views. Things can be taken out of context when perceived in a certain way by certain types of people. This is my grandfather btw, that’s all.


    1. Hey Ketewhia. Thanks for you message, and I’m sorry to have offended your whānau. I too have family members in the spotlight, and know what it feels like to want to defend them. However Alan has a spot in a very public platform, in the Herald and other places – receiving criticism of your work is part and parcel of this job. I am going sticking to my guns here though, in reiterating my standpoint, that violence is not inherent for all māori, but as you have explained, has become part of day to day life for some people – due to the cycles of violence that are so very hard to break free from. The reason I wrote this blog, is to provide a different point of view from the mainstream narrative (more aligned with your grandfather). He has offended and hurt a lot of people with his latest piece, and I think everyone is entitled to having someone at their back. Hence me writing this blog. And in response you have defended your grandfather, as I would have done too. And you have added new new insights to the conversation. Thanks.


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