No Minister


I see that Dover Samuels, onetime Labour Party Minister and latterly a Winston First acolyte, has called for the Crown to apologise for the fact that back in the 1940s while attending the Waiharara Native School at Matauri Bay he and others were regularly ‘birched’ for speaking Te Reo (their first language) in school, even in the playground. He alleged that those caught speaking Maori were sent to cut lengths of supplejack and whipped with it until they bled.

He said the apology should come direct from the Monarchy as it happened under the Queen’s reign … only problem with that is the Queen did not ascend the throne until 1952.

But all that aside would it be impertinent to ask whether the teachers at that school were Maori … an inconvenient question perhaps.

Written by The Veteran

September 19, 2021 at 1:52 pm

Posted in New Zealand

Tagged with ,

9 Responses

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  1. I think this guy is bullshitting. My mother taught at a ‘Maori’ school from 1939 to 1943 and I attended the same school from 1951 to 1959.

    Not only did my mother not ever mention any such incident but I never saw or heard of one and many of my mates’ parents could not speak English.

    Maybe we Ngati Hine had more brains than those dumb black buggers from the swamps of Awanui.


    September 19, 2021 at 2:09 pm

  2. This courtesy of poster Cobalt24 on Kiwiblog earlier this week:

    “Petition of Wi Te Hakiro and 336 others (part of)
    [Translation.] — 7. “Native Schools Act, 1867.”

    A fascinating snapshot of the actual history of events of that time.

    Marc Williams

    September 19, 2021 at 7:14 pm

  3. The policy of not speaking Maori was pushed by Sir Apirana Ngata and Maui Pomare. They knew that for Maori to get on in the world, they needed to speak English. They knew the children’s parents would teach them Maori at home so they would have two languages. The native schools were set up in those rural communities for that aim. It was quite arbitrary too. Oruanui had a Native School. Mokai had a “normal” school but both were near exclusive Maori pupils. I don’t think the Native Schools ever taught Maori – they wouldn’t have had the resources.
    Every boy at school in those days got beaten – read Tom Scott’s book on Charles Upham and no white privilege there.
    And Dover is desperate to rehabilitate his reputation so this is just grandstanding.

    Chris Morris

    September 19, 2021 at 8:15 pm

    • Sorry mate, you are spouting bullshit. Every boy did NOT get beaten.


      September 19, 2021 at 9:26 pm

    • Every in popular idiom does not mean 100%. If you want to be an obnoxious pedant, how does “the vast majority” suit you?

      Chris Morris

      September 19, 2021 at 9:32 pm

    • Geez Adolph. Every boy at Auckland Grammar got caned in the late 70’s when I was there.

      I am not being literal there, OK?

      And you could get beaten for speaking English, or any other language, if done at the wrong time…

      John JohnO

      September 20, 2021 at 9:01 am

  4. My Uncle, himself a fluent Te Reo speaker, taught in the east coast boys schools in the 1940s & 50s. Before he passed recently he talked about how it was the parents who asked the boys only be taught English.

    Those wanting an apology need to look to their parents in the first instance.


    September 19, 2021 at 9:44 pm

  5. Chris Morris.

    Rather a lover of accuracy than a bullshitter. The truth is, very few Maori children were thrashed for speaking Maori. I know. I was there


    September 19, 2021 at 10:29 pm

  6. Really adolf, how many of the Native Schools did you attend? This source
    indicates there was 166 and 13 District Highs.

    Chris Morris

    October 1, 2021 at 4:55 pm

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