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Shame, Revenge and Compensation

  • June 30th, 2005

Minorities are right to feel that our law is hostile to their cultures. It has also become hostile to the traditional cultures of mainstream New Zealand.

Those who should monitor these matters are being worn down by endless consultation and politically correct processes.

Control has been left to an elite.

These self-anointed social engineers despise the values of the majority.

At their insistence we are getting dollops of indigenous ritual splashed all over the government process.

This transplanting of hui customs like prolonged welcomes, karakia and cries of kia ora is an insult to Maori. It is just lip service.

Traditional Maori customs are not window dressing.

A genuine respect for indigenous cultures would reinstate important cultural traditions lost to us all.

Courts for instance should be made more awe-inspiring and tapu instead of more user-friendly.

They would include traditional concepts such as:

Shame – Whakaama

The Criminal Courts have eliminated shame from the process.

Most Pacific and Asian cultures have shame-based systems for maintaining a healthy society and to discourage wrongdoing.

We should restore this by immediately stopping all name suppression after conviction.

And criminal records should be public knowledge. No more Clean Slate whitewashing of past crimes.

Revenge – Utu

The Prison system has eliminated retribution.

For Maori, as for many other cultures, utu or retribution was essential to restore balance between a wrongdoer and his victim.

A genuine respect for Maori customary law would give us a modern equivalent of utu.

In our present system retribution is unmentionable.

Compensation – Muru

Muru insisted that every family member was responsible for compensation for offence by any relative.

This group liability ensured that everyone had a vested interest in reducing offending.

The current law doesn’t even make families support themselves, let alone pay for the damage they cause. Remorse and reparation are just meaningless words.

The courts have lost confidence in their traditional authority. The judges have been made to seem impotent eunuchs apologising for any offence, real or imagined, and always seeking flexibility and sensitivity to diversity.

The Law Commission suggests that judges need local consultative councils and liaison officers, to tell them how to transform their courts in to one-stop resource centres for their local communities.

This lip service to multi-culturalism is worse than useless.

However genuine traditional custom has a lot to offer that should be restored to our laws.

ACT seeks commonsense enforceable laws for all New Zealanders.

Give your Party Vote to ACT and we will continue to resist the well-meaning social engineers.

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