Wednesday, February 06, 2008

waitangi day thoughts, thanks to Paul Moon

Today in New Zealand is a public holiday in honour of Waitangi Day, that moment in 1840 when the Treaty of Waitangi was signed and when the Tangata Whenua and the Crown agreed to a shared future, one nation and two people’s.

It means for me that today is a lecture day. But because Luke 10 sends the missional church out, instead of gathering my missional church leadership students together, I have sent them out, the 15 in Auckland and the 17 in Waikato, to walk their local communities. They are invited to watch and listen to what people are up to today, and what that says about the narratives of ordinary people in ordinary communities. Over the next weeks they will interact online about this and I am looking forward to reading what they discover.

In preparation for today, I have been reading Paul Moon’s The Newest Country in the World. A History of New Zealand in the Decade of the Treaty. He concludes with these thoughts:

“The idea of New Zealand was not created, it evolved in an organic fashion as much in spite of as because of the policies of its rulers in the 1840s …. Thus, although New Zealand bore all the hallmarks of a colonial dependency, its destiny had already fallen into its own hands, and was ready to given shape.”

That suggests that it’s time to move beyond the crippling ideas of colonisation. I am by no means downplaying the need for justice and restitution for the past. I am simply reminded that this country is what we have made it, all nations, Tangata whenua (people of the land) and Tangata tiriti (people of the Treaty).

And that this country will be what we have make it, all nations, Tangata whenua (people of the land) and Tangata tiriti (people of the Treaty). I am glad to be part of this organic evolution and I pray that my students and my church can be a grace-filled part of this nation’s future.

Links:
Some history here. Waitangi Day worship here. Waitangi Day sermon here

Posted by steve at 03:27 PM

1 Comment

  1. Your students could well discover what people were doing on Waitiangi Day by reading their blogs too ;-) Here’s one to get them started: http://sandra-in-the-garden.blogspot.com/2008/02/national-gardening-day.html

    Comment by Rachael — February 7, 2008 @ 1:58 pm

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