Who is the silent majority? You know the ones, the 80% of us who can make change. Yet we leave it to “others” and don’t get involved. This is the most disastrous aspect. It can be called apathy, lack of concern or just laziness. Maybe it’s diffidence. Whichever way you look at it, the majority does make the difference. In this particular case it means that while the majority is not getting involved, “staying out of it mate”, we allow NKTT to run roughshod over everyone.
It must stop and the best way for that to happen is for the majority to make it happen. Taking matters to court is surely anyone’s last resort. It may be the only way to make people listen, especially if they’ve been told many times before.
At the last elections in Aotearoa, Te Ururoa addressed a crowd during the opening night of a Maori business conference in Tauranga. One of the conference attendees told me afterwards that Te Ururoa had spoken very well on topics that resonated with her. I asked if this was a good thing to which she replied – “I don’t know, I don’t vote, what difference will I make if I vote?” Worse still, she had asked me who Te Ururoa was and which party he represented. She, a New Zealand resident while I, a visitor at the conference, have spent the last 25 years in Australia.
Back in the land of Nga Iwi Moemoea and I can see and hear that same song echoing through the land: “Why would I vote since it makes no difference anyway? I don’t even know who the candidates are, so why should I vote for or against any of them.”
It’s time for all of those well-meaning people who have been reading these blogs to get off your seats, actually make a decision and do something positive. Sitting on your hands and watching the action while knowing that change is necessary, is tantamount to allowing NKTT to continue their roughshod practices.
A few have asked me to stop this. To stop talking about the goings on in Australian kapa haka in this way – some of whom have previously agreed with me, quite vehemently even. To stop my quest to improve the management and therefore overall conditions of kapa haka in Australia. Once again I will say this to them: NO. No, I do not accept the actions of NKTT as appropriate in any way. No, I will not allow NKTT to continue their conduct without respect to consequence to others of their actions. No, I will not sit by and say nothing while performers, administrators, tutors are disadvantaged over and over again as a result of a regime that continually acts to disadvantage them. No, I will not stop, while mismanagement of something so beautiful causes many to be put off, by a few for the benefit of only themselves.
It is generally the silent majority who sit on their hands and watch while nothing is done, that wait until after the proverbial has finally hit the fan, and THEN say I could have, I should have, I would have BUT. I was comfortable at the time and it did not seem that there were too many hurting, not many enough for them to need my help. Anyway, someone else will always make a stand where I am not willing, not able, don’t care, or am too scared.
Have you seen that clip of some lone nutter that starts dancing on a peak-hour commuter train? Where for a while everybody is just watching and waiting for ages. Then, once just one other person joins the nutter, suddenly three more joins, four more, and still more people start dancing, until it becomes a party. Commuter train full of tired people on their way to work, transformed into a celebration of humanity at its best. This was filmed in Perth, apparently. Hello?
I’m not sure I’m saying that lone nutter is me and I want a crowd of followers to dance with me. Maybe more I’m playing the disco music on the iPod? But until somebody, just one person, then maybe a couple of more, just maybe a few more, in this silent majority understand this: that it is I who can get up and make a difference. Just a little bit, just a few beats, maybe a shuffle or two. Oh go on then, a haka’s worth. I won’t just sit on my hands anymore. This thing, kapa haka, it’s worth that much, isn’t it?