AS a reasonably long-serving old soldier, I am afraid that I have to take Paul Brooks to task over his editorial in the Chronicle (August 27). He should be hung, drawn and eighted for his comments about Club Metro in the 21st century.

I can see no reason at all why there cannot be a "Rainbow" Bar in the new club to cater for all those unfortunates who have gender problems of various types. My suggestion would be the current Pokie Room, plenty of vibrant colours and a bar could be installed to serve pink gins and other pretty beverages.

To hell with his labelling of "conservatism" for existing members. That term is an attack on all those who grew up without having "alternative PC sexuality" thrust down their throats (don't even go there) day in, day out. Hell, if there was ever a recruiting ground for homosexuals, the army had to be the best.

Sixty-man barracks with one ablution block with open showers and no doors on the dunnies. I doubt that any soldier felt threatened by such exposure, but who knows, and I wonder when the first claim of historical sexual harassment will be lodged by a male soldier. Okay, truth be told, Paul has got it right.


However, the whole issue could have been avoided if the "experts" had settled on the name "Club Hetro" rather than Metro. As Paul has indicated, the seamy side of the alphabet can frequent existing watering holes where they appear to be accepted.

I cannot see "limp wristed" people being welcomed into a club that has traditionally been the home of non-alphabetical blokes and blokesses. Handy for those folk whose case hasn't been called when the judge goes to lunch; they can pop in for a beer and a sarnie while they wait, because there will be no check on the door.


Treaty terms

Bruce Moon invites me to identify flaws in his work on the Treaty of Waitangi and specifically challenges my note that "all the people of New Zealand" in the translation of Te Tiriti (the Māori text) refers solely to Māori. Let me address both matters in one.

Language changes over time. Today, "New Zealander" is an inclusive term that includes Māori and all the other ethnicities of our multi-ethnic nation. In 1840 and before it was not so — "New Zealander" and "the people of New Zealand" did not include anyone except Māori — not because others were "being written out" but because they had not been here long enough to want to write themselves in. It took at least a generation here before for settlers to identify themselves with this country rather than where they originated.

Before 1840, and for a good number of years afterwards, written sources show that the standard description of settlers from Britain and elsewhere was not "New Zealanders", but "Pākehā" (as in Te Tiriti), or "British", or sometimes "colonists", "Englishmen" or "Anglo-Saxons".

On the other hand, the standard terms for Māori at that time were "natives", "aboriginals" or "New Zealanders". A good example is the report of a British parliamentary select committee in 1838, questioning Captain Fitzroy about the meaning of Māori land "sales" to missionaries. The report queries the nature of the "understanding between the missionaries and the New Zealanders".


None of that is difficult to verify from a range of sources, and I invite Bruce Moon to produce examples of documents from that period which use "New Zealander" specifically to describe non-Māori people.

This will not convince Bruce Moon but, I hope, will help others to understand my original criticism of the One New Zealand approach, compared with the scholarship of Claudia Orange and the many others who have since shed light on Te Tiriti in its historical context.


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