‘They Bleed from Long-Healed Scars’: a Nietzschean Psychological Perspective on the Literature of Inherited Colonial Trauma in New Zealand

Moon, E
Derby, M
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Journal Article
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Te Ara Poutama, Auckland University of Technology

How do we account for the ideological orientation of so much of the literature produced by academics in New Zealand over the past three decades dealing with the state of the country’s indigenous population? Specifically, how do we explain the near uniformity in these works when addressing themes associated with the ongoing crises and trauma of colonisation, that are purportedly bearing down on Māori? The self-evident response would be to take this literature at face value – observing the overtly Marxist architecture both of its arguments and the conceptualisation of the salient issues,1 and unquestioningly assume that colonisation is indeed a current as well as historical phenomenon in New Zealand; that it imposes crises and trauma on the country’s indigenous population; that its causes are systemic; that the coloniser’s racism is the axiomatic governing principle upholding this process;2 that there is a culturally, politically, and ethnically monolithic entity known as ‘Māori’; and that Māori agency is so limited that the process appears destined to be perpetually ruinous. This is an extraordinary series of contingent relationships, and obviously exposes itself to serious historical, political, sociological, and cultural critiques.

Te Kaharoa, 13(1). Retrieved from https://www.tekaharoa.com/index.php/tekaharoa/article/view/245
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