‘[…] there are risks that, if done poorly, compulsory history in our schools could veer into the realm of indoctrination. It is no coincidence that one of the first functions authoritarian regimes undertake on assuming power is to produce new history books in order to emphasise the “correct” version of history that is passed on to students.’ (Paul Moon on the proposal to introduce a new compulsory NZ history curriculum)
Moon may not realise that the programmes being developed by the Ministry of Education show only too clearly that it sees its purpose as the brainwashing and the undermining of young children. This is apparent not only in its use of critical race theory, ie the inculcating of white guilt, but in other modules such as the Sexuality Education and Climate Change curricula.
The Histories Curriculum: Critical Race Theory Meets Maori Radicalism
The Aotearoa New Zealand Histories Curriculum presents New Zealand history purely and unashamedly through the lens of Maori radicalism, with no respect for historical fact.
An important function of the curriculum is to affirm the permanent special status of the Maori migrants to NZ and thus their descendants, and the permanent special status of the period of pre-European Maori settlement. ‘Maori history is the foundational and continuous history of Aotearoa New Zealand’. The draft declares baldly that:
‘Māori voyaged across the Pacific and became tangata whenua: the indigenous people of this place. Māori navigation to Aotearoa New Zealand was deliberate and skilful.’
All of this flies in the face of the evidence.
- Oral tradition, the information given by chiefs to the first missionaries and archaeological artifacts all indicate the presence of pre-Maori settlement.
- Oral tradition indicates that the Maori canoes arrived by misadventure. In support is a lack of evidence that Maori tribes were able to emigrate once food supplies diminished or if they were under pressure from more powerful tribes.
It should also be noted that
- Tribes named the areas they controlled, and there was no name for the whole of what is now New Zealand. (See Kerry Howe, What’s In a Name)
The intention is to impress on small children the evils of colonialism, while consciously perverting history and ignoring:
1) That it was the Maori who were keen on NZ becoming a British colony, not the the British themselves, either because the British had become more moral over the years or because they could see no benefit to Britain in taking over a group of islands which could not sustain their inhabitants decently.
2) The parlous state the Maori were in – New Zealand may have have been a paradise for birds but certainly wasn’t for humanity. They had wiped out several bird species, including their best food supply the moa; there was a culture of cannibalism, slavery and female infanticide. They had no pottery, no smelting, no way of working stone for building purposes.
3) The benefits of Old World civilisations that colonialism provided both at a mundane level, ie a higher standard of living which more than doubled their life expectancy, and at a spiritual/intellectual/cultural level. The colonials brought reading and writing, literature, higher mathematics, science, melody (Maori music consisted largely of monophonic chants with a very limited range of pitches) and musical instruments, rugby. The introduction of deer and deer hunting, often reviled because of environmental implications, has been embraced with enthusiasm by the Maori.
It should be possible to devise a syllabus for older students which explains the history of New Zealand, explains the difficult conditions that the Maori lived under while totally cut off from the rest of humanity, celebrates their practical and cultural achievements – like people everywhere, they enriched their lives with dancing, carving, weaving etc – and refers to crimes and misunderstandings on all sides while aiming for neutrality and objectivity. Instead little children are brain washed with false or inadequate information and expected to make ethical judgements about the past.
Critical Race Theory
The Histories Curriculum and other programmes from the Ministry of Education represent the strategy called ‘critical theory’, whose function is to divide and weaken society, in this context ‘critical race theory’.
Critical race theory is rooted in cultural Marxism; its purpose to divide the world into white oppressors and non-white victims. It uses personal narratives of marginalized minority “victim” groups (black, Hispanic, female, and homosexuals) as irrefutable evidence of the dishonesty of their mostly white heterosexual oppressors.
When it comes to race, there is no way out. Critical race theory assumes that racism is permanent and affects every aspect of our society to include political, economic, social and religious institutions. […] This flawed theory of the world suggests that race and ethnicity will always taint and pollute every decision, the result being that racial minorities will consistently lose out to whites because of structural racism. Critical race theory can create anger, frustration, and despondency among anyone in the victim categories who internalize the destructive message.
The application of critical race theory is becoming entrenched in Western schools, especially in the English-speaking world, for example Canada, the United States, Australia . In October 2020 the UK’s Minister of Education, Kemi Badenoch, declared teaching white privilege and critical race theory to be illegal:
‘We do not want to see teachers teaching their white pupils about white privilege and inherited racial guilt’
The NZ Ministry of Education, however, openly espouses the practice of critical theory:
Critical theories represent a range of theoretical perspectives and practices through which people may pursue social justice, address inequality, and work to produce a fairer, more inclusive and equitable society. […]
To create a fairer and more just society, critical theorists ask for the critique of social structures and practices – big and small – that privilege certain groups and marginalise others. (NZ Ministry of Education, Critical Theories archived here)
In the New Zealand context, both critical race theory and the distortion of historical fact will further the cause of an equal partnership between the Crown and Maori, with implications for democracy. Note that the minority party TOP, which seeks a parliamentary upper house, proposes that this upper house has 50% Maori representation, despite the Maori population being less than 17% of the total.
The Histories Curriculum will join other Ministry modules that implement critical theory.
The Te Hurihanganui syllabus is another educational strategy which is designed to demoralise one group (specifically those of European descent), arouse a sense of victimhood in another (especially Maori) and create racial hatred. The syllabus sets out to instill in small children a sense of their ‘white privilege’, including in-class race-shaming rituals such as getting children to stand up in front of their classroom and say what they had done to acknowledge their white privilege .
‘Racism and discrimination must be recognised, challenged and overturned in all parts of the system. At the heart of racism and discrimination is a conscious or unconscious belief of superiority over another which does not reflect the mana and inner potential of all people.
‘People who demonstrate a ‘critical’ understanding of racism, discrimination, white privilege and power in education, are capable of influencing change across the education system and in the fabric of wider society. Without critical consciousness it is unlikely that the system will challenge the dominant cultural narrative that views Māori in deficit terms or places the mana of a teacher over that of a learner.
‘Critical’ understandings must be developed through an iterative research and design process that respects and is inclusive of diversity and innovation.
‘Embedding this principle in education will require…
‘Developing critical consciousness about power and privilege.’ (NZ Ministry of Education, Te Hurihanganui)
Likewise the teacher training module:
Unteach Racism is a module for teacher training which aims to ‘identify confront and dismantle racism in education’, which it assumes to be widespread. Teacher Lewis Andrew has taken a critical look at the module.
‘[…] systemic racism seems to be defined as the existence of disparities between races. This “proves” systemic racism.’ (Lewis Andrew)
The course depends heavily on completely one-sided anecdotal evidence. Again the dichotomy is white versus Maori. There is no acknowledgement that Maori versus European disparities also apply to Pasifika (versus European and Asian), so that health and achievement issues are officially equated, and similar compensatory measures are applied (in 2020 Otago School of Medicine allocated nearly 40% of its places to Maori and Pacific students, although the two ethnic groups make up only 25% of the total population). And New Zealanders of Asian descent, their achievements and contribution, are effectively buried, here and elsewhere.
Other programmes follow the same pattern of undermining and disempowering young students combined with multi-level dishonesty:
Navigating the Journey: Sexuality Education
Today, the discourse on children’s sexual rights and the belief they are sexual beings are invoked to justify school programs that sexualise youth at ever younger ages. (Protect Kids From Marxist Sexualisation Programs)
The teachers’ resource for the New Zealand sex education curriculum, Navigating the Journey: Sexuality Education: Te Takahi i te Ara: Whakaakoranga Hōkakatanga:
- Recommends the sexualisation of children from the age of five: ‘A blossoming takes place, a journey is set out on’
- Forces small children to question their gender identity
- Reinforces and exaggerates male-female stereotypes, and
- Presents a raft of ideas for undermining a child’s feelings of self confidence and self-worth which, while reinforcing the strong and successful, are threatening to the vulnerable. (Cultural Marxism and the NZ Sex Education Curriculum)
The New Zealand ‘Climate Change Wellbeing Guide’
The Climate Change learning programme: now termed the ‘Climate Change Wellbeing Guide’ [sic]:
‘is a callous, exploitative project whose undisguised aim is to frighten children to death in order to fulfill the government/UN climate agenda. […] Children are brainwashed, cowed or bullied into becoming climate activists. They are given no space to disagree with the facts as presented, to fail to respond emotionally as demanded, to refuse to take action as required. Such manipulation is child abuse’. (The NZ Climate Change Curriculum is Cult Indoctrination and Child Abuse)
- The syllabus is devoid of academic rigour, and represses all critical thinking. Children are expected to swallow without question junk science claims about, for example, global warming leading to the extinction of polar bears (currently about 30,000 or more, up from 5,000 in the 1950s). (See 10 Good Reasons Not to Worry About Polar Bears)
- Children from age 10 are encouraged to consider veganism in order to ‘save the planet’, starting with ‘Vegan Mondays’ – no matter that pasture is a more effective carbon sink than repeatedly milled monoculture pine.
- Child activist Greta Thunberg is presented as a role model, and by extension Extinction Rebellion, possibly leading to civil disobedience, law-breaking and arrest.
- Having callously pressured and enticed children into experiencing overwhelming emotions by telling them what is in effect a pack of lies (see Dr. Jock Allison’s comments in the Appendix here), the Ministry of Education kindly offers advice to teachers and in turn parents on how to deal with traumatised children, with a long list of counseling services.
The Climate Change programme is not simply manipulation of the young in order to serve a political end – it is intentional, shameless child abuse.
If the purpose of schooling is to educate children, to stimulate critical thinking and respect for empirical truth, and to empower them, the NZ Ministry of Education has shown itself not fit for purpose.
Roger Childs, retired teacher of history, Submission on Aotearoa New Zealand Histories in the New Zealand Curriculum
Professor Emeritus Martin H. Devlin, The New Zealand School History Curriculum: a rare and wonderful opportunity for truth
‘White supremacy culture shows up in math classrooms when… The focus is on getting the “right” answer’. (Math Suffers From White Supremacy, According to a Bill Gates-Funded Course)