Saturday, December 15, 2012

'Poverty is our friend': Kruger's position on Tuhoe history

Caught a little of a RadioNZ interview of Tuhoe negotiator Tamati Kruger on RNZ...

One comment stood out like the proverbial dogs bollocks.

'Poverty is our friend'.

Let me think about that for a nanosecond.

No.

I have these strange conversation about resilience that simply asserts we are resilient because we're still 'ere. Of course what Kruger and others allude to is our history of endurance - through colonisation in Aotearoa - and our ongoing marginalisation.

That's not resilience, which is the ability of a social system to absorb shocks and disturbances before it must change its structure; it can also be interpreted as the time needed for any rebound.

I draw on the literature of socio-ecological resilience but ). Here's a few references:

Resilience: The emergence of a perspective for socio-ecological systems analyses, by Carl Folke.

An Interview with Neil Adger: resilience, adaptability, localisation and Transition

Am now delving into psychology which pioneered the concept in individuals coping with crisis, certainly an important avenue for Cantabrians.

But lets not make a virtue out of necessity. Coping with poverty is not designed to make you resilient. Harkening back to some old-school Marxism, it actually makes other people rich and resilient.

Of course, I don't for a moment think Kruger is that well-acquainted with the old friend of Tuhoe anymore...

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Simon Lambert

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