Creating Bi-cultural Partnership and Spiritual Synergy in Aotearoa
Synergy: Synergia: Working together, the sum total is greater than the number of it’s parts
A contribution to a conversation about the unique culture that is ours in Aotearoa
I love all the aspects of our developing culture in Aotearoa:
- The Haka, the All Blacks and the Black Ferns
- The Kiwi Christmas and the summer holidays
- The bush, the lakes, the mountains and the beaches, the beer and the wine
- ANZAC and Waitangi Days
- I think we are slowly taking pride in our unique culture
- I think our existing culture is worth preserving
- And I think it is worth enhancing
I’m greatly encouraged by what I think I see developing, at least in the circles I float around in, of increasing relationships of collaboration between Maori and Pakeha and what is being contributed by people like Keith Newman, Jay Ruka and Mark Holloway and others in regard to the Christian heritage and the purposes of God for Aotearoa
Collaboration: Kotahitanga: Unity, togetherness solidarity and collective action Earlier this year my friend Ryan Paul and I were talking about this developing cultural and ‘partnership’ stuff and Ryan commented that God had given him a picture of a Taiaha. Maori and Pakeha were together the sides of the spear end of the taiaha and he illustrated it like a pair of hands praying but pointing forward, and then he commented that the Taiaha fell over onto its side with Maori underneath and Pakeha on top. It was supposed to be and could have been a relationship of mutual collaboration (Kotahitanga), instead it became one of domination and suppression. But, said Ryan, the Taiaha has righted itself and perhaps we are now able to move forward in a collaborative partnership. The imagery of that Taiaha stayed with me, and became the inspiration for a Pukaea; pictured above.
And I have since also made a Taiaha (above) to illustrate this collaboration – a lamination of light wood and dark wood illustrating the two cultures forming the blade and becoming a formidable bi-cultural force
Distinctiveness, Synergy and a ‘Wild Band of Brothers!’
Mark Holloway: Cry the Wounded land – pages 77-78 in particular writes:
God: Mark it needs to be said. It needs to be blown on the Maori war trumpet and the Pakeha bugle. Your enemy needs to be put on notice that a new people is beginning to stand up… It’s the reason you Pakeha want to rise up, shout and stamp when you hear the haka… When you’re on the same side you Pakeha and Maori are dangerous — wild and dangerous!! …It’s why I called you together. There is a spiritual battle to fight and my plan was that you fight it together… My plan is that you would be two separate and unique peoples fighting as one.
This is where synergy comes in.
Synergy happens where the sum-total is greater than the number of parts, so that 1+1 don’t just equal 2 but 1+1= exponential X factor, but neither of the parts lose their distinctiveness. The analogy is the synergy of Maori and Pakeha as two distinct cultures forging the way ahead together and creating an exponential X factor – unique culture in Aotearoa. Bringing the vibrant parts of each culture and contributing to a new culture while maintaining the uniqueness of the individual parts.
My vision and declaration for Aotearoa
This synergy-exponential-X-factor is also very similar to the practical outworking of a ‘Biblical Covenant’ (but it might be helpful to differentiate between contract and covenant)
A contract is where two parties (or peoples) associate with each other with legal obligations and where two separate identities are out to get the best deal for themselves, e.g. a building contract where the contractor is out to make as much money and the client is out to save as much money. A Covenant on the other hand is where two separate identities come together to form a completely new identity (assimilate) without losing their own identity, for example, Marriage is a covenant; a man and a women (1+1) become ‘husband and wife’ (=X) . While this illustration of this marriage might have limitations like all analogies do, what Covenant means practically in marriage is that instead of each partner seeking to get/keep the best for themselves, it means each partner seeks to give their very best to each other partner, and seeking to provide an environment where the other can flourish, grow and reach their greatest potential. When that is achieved they have a true covenant relationship and a great marriage – neither party have lost their own unique identity, but together they have a new and exponential ‘synergy identity’.
To use the same analogy in terms of our bicultural covenant (Treaty of Waitangi) is that instead of trying to get the best for ourselves, it’s got more to do with us Pakeha giving Maori our very best, and seeking to provide an environment where Maori can reach their greatest potential. But also Maori giving Pakeha their very best and seeking to provide an environment where Pakeha can reach their greatest potential. When together we achieve that we will have a great marriage of cultures, where neither has lost their identity but together we have this exponential ‘synergy identity – partnership’. This ‘Covenant’ is the crucial and often overlooked mechanism to any successful human relationship, but that just happens to be the design and purpose of Biblical Covenant. So if both Maori and Pakeha could remember that and even achieve that, we would have a truly dynamic synergistic marriage of two cultures.
What this means!
I’m a bit of a global conspiracy person, suspicious of global events that appear to be ‘just happening by themselves’. For example the ‘invasion’ of Europe by millions of displaced people, the current attempt to invade the Unites States by a caravan of thousands of ‘refugees’… these events sound like coordinated strategies by those promoting globalism, to force cultural change upon nations, not just random uncontrolled events. My concern is that Aotearoa is not immune to these global pressures either. For example; Asian/American/Russian Billionaires purchasing huge areas of land; The forced acceptance of multi-national companies bottling and exporting huge quantities of water from our aquifers without any consideration to local economies, agriculture, and also without offering any remuneration, because they were part of some hidden clause agreement under multi-national global contracts such as the TPPA.
In this respect, to honour the Covenant Relationship between Maori and Pakeha, it is my hope and belief that the Treaty of Waitangi is a God given saving grace in Aotearoa:
- It predates any new treaties and agreements, such as the TPPA
- I also fully appreciate that Tangata Whenua (people of the land) are far better stewards of the land of Aotearoa than Tangata Tiriti (people of the treaty)
- I now applaud Tangata Whenua who have a higher relationship to the land than that we pakeha with our protestant prosperity ethic, who are frequently tempted to sell to the highest bidder to make a quick buck
- With such stewardship (and prayerfully) our land will or can no longer be sold to foreign investment companies or individuals seeking a southern bolt-hole to hide away in
So there’s my two cents worth and why I’m conversing about a Bi-cultural partnership synergy in Aotearoa
A Creative Contribution to this Conversation
Norm McLeod says less hui and more dui, but perhaps it starts by hui, korero, talking and telling stories and illustrating though cultural art forms the way this covenant relationship could work together
In this respect, I seek to make cultural contribution specifically to the partners of the Treaty of Waitangi, but in saying that I have no desire to exclude other Pacific island nations in particular who have made such a valuable contribution to our culture in Aotearoa. We are a South Pacific nation and in my opinion need to embrace our South Pacific-ness – but here’s my art form to illustrate this Covenant/synergy/bicultural partnership illustrating my perspective as a creative person, a Kingdom person and a slightly prophetic person perhaps – with a deep love for Aotearoa
An evolution of traditional pukaea toward a bi-cultural pukaea
Traditional Shaped Pukaea
Carries a unique sound of the land, It’s not radically obvious, but the traditional pukaea is perhaps more bassy, more earthy, more resonant, perhaps louder, this is the traditional sound of Aotearoa
Complex Shaped Pukaea:
Has a slightly different sound, slightly higher in pitch, and a greater variation in musical scale. This complex shofar shape artistically represents adding the Kingdom of God to the sound of the land, so that we now have the Covenant sound of the ‘Wild Band of Brothers’.
- We have the sound of the Pukaea and the sound of Shofar, prophetically together
- We have the indigenous sound of Tangata Whenua and the complex sound of Tangata Tiriti, prophetically together
- We have the Spiritual sensitivity of Tangata Whenua and the Prophetic declaration of the Gospel brought by Tangata Tiriti prophetically together
- We have the Taiaha of two peoples and two cultures walking side by side, mutually stewarding the land from the heart of God and with the eyes of the His Kingdom
And when we are walking together in Covenant Synergy we can welcome fresh cultures to our land/culture with the understanding already in place that Aotearoa has Kingdom values and an established culture that is to be honoured and valued as opposed to diluted by some sort of forced global agenda – that’s the plan!
Blessings from the Edge