While the 45th president of the far from United States, Donald Trump, aka Mrs Putin, gave his state of the nation speech on Wednesday, it just happened to be on the same day we as a country were asking on Waitangi Day, What is the state of our nation here in Aotearoa New Zealand?

Waitangi Day came and went without too much mud-slinging - let alone some being thrown. The only piece of news representing anything obscene came out of Willy Jackson's mouth, as he tried to throw his boss a dressing gown to cover up the dressing down she got later on, for not knowing the three articles of The Treaty of Waitangi.

What would have been cool was a cartoon of the Bishop on his bike and Brash on the back, riding into Waitangi shooting from the lip.

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Mind you, Sherriff Shane stole their thunder and bushwhacked them both with a truckload of putea and a sugar sack full of jobs that left everyone else in his pathway shooting off blanks, including the Master Pastor from destination unknown.

Still what happened at Waitangi has brought out and exposed the apathy we have as a country when it comes to knowing our founding document, something that most Americans have learned off by heart as soon as they enter elementary school.

Surely, the time has come, for our schools to teach our history, hakihaki (warts) and all.

Who cares how or where Oliver Cromwell lost his shoe?

The Battle of Waterloo as a history lesson or the brave battles fought by Maori for their lands. It is a no brainer. Should it be taught in our schools? Oui oui, it is much more relevant to our tamariki of today, who want to know what happened back in the dark days of denial.

Tika–Yes, the Napoleonic Wars were important for us all to learn from because they painted a picture of unbridled greed.

But for me, the villain or the baddy was never truly portrayed. It was a cut n paste version of the true valour shown by those who wanted to hold on to their lands.

Sounds familiar huh?


When we understand the ways in which the United Kingdom was funding the fighting against Napoleon, there is an important lesson about history that has repeated itself, time after time.

Thankfully, for me, history was a favourite subject, and I loved learning about the French revolution.

Mr Crossman, my teacher at Mount College, was a cornerstone in my learning and his love of geography and history would serve me well later on in life when I would get the full story - and not the edited out one.

At the same time, - on the other side of the world and in our own back yard, another war was raging that not even Mr Crossman knew anything about. One thing is for sure I bet he does now.

Quite simply, our battles our wars and the price Maori paid - and are still paying, was an equally if not more important lesson, but sadly and ashamedly it was never taught to us, well not in my school where three of my teachers were Maori.

It was only 20 years later after school was over when travelling through the conquered countries of Europe did I learn that the same funders who financed the great battles against Napoleon in France, were doing the same thing to Maori as they were doing to the French and their allies.

The big difference, in my opinion, was unlike the French, Maori were willing to share their lands with the United Kingdom, as long as they retained their sovereignty - as promised in the articles of the Treaty that both parties signed in good faith.

Treaties in any form, be they the constitution of a combined nation of states or the founding document of two cultures are beyond compromise if the free world is to continue as just that.

As too are the leaders who uphold them.

If not history will judge them and in the case of Trump, he could be behind bars - or at least well down the impeachment process in front of a grand jury

Back here in the land of the long homeless crowd, the jury on Jacinda will be judging her next year in Waitangi on how many Maori call jail home - and how many more are homeless on the outside.

All in all, the heart of the nation is starting to beat with a positive rhythm, much like the reggae beat of the birthday of uncle Bob Marley, who happened to be born on the same day as when we signed our treaty up at Waitangi with Billy Hobson's boys back in 1840.

Tommy Wilson is a bestselling local author, word warrior and writer. He is the Chief Imagination Officer of Te Tuinga Whanau Social Support Services.