About This Site

This site promotes and supports a book called:

Guilty as Charged?

One Pākehā’s Journey to Understanding the Special Place of Māori in Aotearoa New Zealand

This book is the product of over two-years more or less full-time, uninterrupted work.

What’s the book about?

The current standing of Māori in Aotearoa New Zealand and their relationship with Pākehā.

What makes the book unique?

I believe no other book on this topic:

  • offers such an in-depth overview;
  • discusses particular topics in layman’s terms, such as how New Zealand shapes up globally on the question of state/indigenous peoples relations, and what New Zealand’s obligations towards Māori are under international law;
  • can be appreciated by immigrants who have recently arrived in New Zealand, or even readers with no knowledge of New Zealand whatsoever;

while few

  • directly address the common concerns and questions of Pākehā (such as why are their different laws for Māori and Pākehā?; why should Pākehā living now pay for the misdeeds of a long gone generation?);
  • are written by a New Zealander living abroad looking from the outside;
  • are written by a Pākehā in whole-hearted support of greater Māori rights;
  • take an approach that does not rely on the Treaty of Waitangi;
  • emphasise the need for personal engagement with the issues;
  • are holistic in their approach, i.e. engage both head and heart in equal measure.

In addition, I believe my background gives me some insights into this topic that are unique, or at least uncommon (see the biography page).

Some quotes:

There’s much of great value in the text, and I especially liked the small chapter at the end on your 2008 visit, especially your day at the Tribunal. It’s a book which wears its heart on its sleeve, and [there’s] nothing wrong with that!

Geoff Walker, Publishing Director, Penguin Group (NZ)

You write well, and… your treatment is timely.

Rachel Scott, Publisher, Canterbury University Press

Malcolm’s book is a personal reflection which embraces a timely vision on the future of Maori/Pakeha relations.

Robert Consedine, co-author of Healing Our History

Where can I get this book?

Here! This book can be purchased on this website to download in its entirety. Simply click on the Buy Now button on the right of this page and follow the instructions. If you would like more information about the book before buying it, then visit the contents page for a topic by topic overview of the book, along with a very few sample sections (be sure to see Section 5.22 in Part Two on ‘The Rainbow Warrior’). To read even more free samples, simply click on the link in the box at the top right of this page.

More details about the book:

(For an topic by topic overview of Guilty as Charged?, see the contents page.)

Most books on the topic of Māori/Pākehā relations tend to fall into one of three categories. The first of these comprises books of protest written by Māori. The second comprises the relatively light-weight factual or opinionated books aimed at Joe Bloggs public. And the third comprises the heavy-weight academic tomes only touched by the keen and/or specialist. Guilty as Charged? spans all three of these categories. In short, Guilty as Charged? is a book of protest in support of Māori rights written for Joe Bloggs public that assimilates the tenor of much current academic debate. Not only that, but the voice of protest comes from a Pākehā—a Pākehā who is not even resident in New Zealand; Joe Bloggs public is not just restricted to the New Zealand public; and the academic debate spans many disciplines, such as history, law (both domestic and international), politics and sociology. In other words, the slant is unusual, the potential audience large, and the scope broad.

But such a summary misses the main point! For if Guilty as Charged? were merely an attempt at some abstract broad academic sweep for a universal audience, then I would miss the main point myself. For I would be doing what many Pākehā do. I would be missing ‘I’. I would be forgetting that ‘I’ is a fundamental part of the debate, ‘I’ is a fundamental part of the problem, and ‘I’ is a fundamental part of the solution. Māori culture is nothing if is not a culture of relationships. If we Pākehā continue to meet Māori with impersonal abstraction, we will never get anywhere. Instead we Pākehā must engage with the issues on a personal level—even when the issues belong to the so-called ‘academic’ sphere—but, more importantly, engage personally with Māori themselves.

So what is Guilty as Charged? really about? It is about my personal journey to work through the multi-faceted issues involved in the great Māori/Pākehā debate that rages in New Zealand. It is about bringing everything I am to the table and allowing myself to be altered in the process. Taken at face value such a work might seem like pure self-indulgence, or self-obsession. Taken at a deeper level, I hope Guilty as Charged? is seen as an invitation for others to lay themselves open to the possibility of change and to embark on their own journey. I hope Guilty as Charged? is both instructive and challenging. For nothing is more harmful to progress than ignorance and apathy.

Read a more extensive overview of the book.

Why has Guilty as Charged? not been published?

Well I did try! Not only that, I received positive feedback from publishers (see above). However the general feeling was that Guilty as Charged? wouldn’t sell well.

My guess is that the concerns were:

  • The current economic climate.
  • I have not published in this field before.
  • The scope of the book is vast.
  • The book is very long (about 300,000 words).
  • I am not resident in New Zealand.
  • It does not fit into any one category or subject area. Instead the issues are addressed in their totality and with an attitude that incorporates both heart and mind.

So why should you bother with this book when it hasn’t been published?

For the reasons above that make this book unique. Guilty as Charged? discusses the ever-present issue in New Zealand of Māori/Pākehā relations from a variety of angles. It is not a light-weight or superficial work, but one that is thoughtful and detailed. While books of this sort are unlikely to be best-sellers, it is my belief that the nature of the topic demands this approach. In my opinion, there is too much written about the issue of race relations in New Zealand that is ill-informed and full of knee-jerk reactions. A serious and weighty topic demands a serious and weighty response.

Yet one can go too far. One can go too far in the quest to be ‘rational’ and ‘objective’ and forget that the author (and reader) themselves are part of the very topic under discussion. The daily thoughts, words and actions of every New Zealander form part of the topic of Māori/Pākehā relations. It is impossible, and indeed, undesirable, to disengage the self, or heart, from the debate. Such an emotive and ever-present topic demands an emotive and personal response.

In short, I believe that the topic of Māori/Pākehā relations demands an holistic response from each and every New Zealander. This is precisely the approach adopted in Guilty as Charged?. Not only that, it is precisely the attitude that Guilty as Charged? encourages in the reader as well.

I firmly believe that the ultimate solution to the great Māori/Pākehā debate, and therefore the future health of New Zealand society, lies not in ‘right’ answers, but in ‘right’ attitudes. This is the central thesis of Guilty as Charged?.

And so this is why you should bother with the book.