Joshua Iosefo, Pasifika, Treatygate

Maori need leaders like this

Please watch this extraordinary speech by Samoan Niuean New Zealand schoolboy Joshua Iosefo. It’s something everyone interested in race relations should see.

As a professional speaker and former Toastmaster, I’ve seen a lot of speeches in my time, right up to world championship level.

But few have touched me like this poetic ‘spoken word piece’.

TV3’s John Campbell obviously felt the same way, and featured a re-shot, slickly edited, but more clinical version of it on his show.

I prefer this raw version. It’s Joshua giving his speech live to an assembly of his Mt Roskill Grammar School peers.

Most heartening to me is the standing ovation he well and truly earns from his ‘brown brothers’.

Our Pacific citizens seem to have a more positive, law-abiding attitude than Maori.

Pasifika people are 7% of New Zealanders and commit 11% of the crime — not much more than their share of the population.

Maori, meanwhile, despite being massively more indulged by the state than their Polynesian cousins, make up 15% of the population and commit 49% of the crime.

Could Joshua’s attitude — and the wildly popular reception to his message — explain the difference?

Thanks to James Clark for painting such a glowing picture of ‘Brown Brother’ that I just had to interrupt my day and watch it.

For those who requested the words, I’ve posted them here.

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14 thoughts on “Maori need leaders like this

  1. Whoa!! Go Joshua! That was an awesome speech. He is so right. Skin colour has nothing to do with how far a person can go or what he can achieve. We need more of our young ‘Brown Brothers’, and sisters, to think like Joshua does.

  2. Inspirational for everyone regardless of ethnicity. Maori find this kinda stuff too hard sadly. Rather sit on collect benefits than be ones that try and benefit others

  3. I absolutely applaud Joshua. The whole video should be shown on TV. What a mature well adjusted young lad. He will go far. The sad part is that if everyone adopted his attitude they would do well too. He is an inspiration.

  4. Stereotyping is sad for those who don’t fit the stereotype, Anakereiti, I absolutely agree.

    My wife is always getting done over by Customs because she evidently fits the visual stereotype of an Asian drug courier.

    It upsets her, and me too, but what are we to do?

    The fault for the stereotyping lies not with Customs, who have a duty to be alert to those who fit the profile.

    It lies with those drug couriers who offend in such large numbers.

    Same with the stereotyping of Maori. The fault lies not with those who notice it and comment on it, but with those Maori who offend in such large numbers.

    What are we to do about Maori crime, exaggerated Treaty claims, etc. – not mention it?

    I don’t think continuing to walk on eggshells is an option.

    Ideally people like me shouldn’t have to mention it, and Achiever Maori should be standing up to the Grievers who give all Maori such a bad name.

    Who will be the Maori Joshua Iosefo?

  5. haha, God John international travel must sick in your family 🙂 A maori Joshua Iosefo – um how about – Reina Webster Isaac MacCreadie Anita Van der loo Tangaroa Walker Tania Jackson. you really must stop focussing on the negatives, John, and actually have a look (a proper one)and what Maori are doing and have done.

  6. I’m focusing on what I can see, Anakereiti.

    If you have the examples I’m asking for – Achiever Maori who are standing up to the Grievers who blame the British for their people’s every woe – show me and I’ll happily applaud them.

    Show me a Maori Joshua Iosefo and I’ll do my next blog post about him. (Or her.)

    Better still: show the so-called leaders of Maoridom, none of whom seem to have much time for the Achiever ethos.

    I repeat what I’ve said to you before: I wouldn’t be focusing on the negatives if the Grievers weren’t robbing us blind by doing the same.

  7. I found the same Colin but thought it was just me. It would be great if there is a printed copy of Joshua’s speech as I missed a lot of it, even though I got the gist.

  8. Colin, I don’t have time to transcribe the whole speech, though if someone else does I’d be happy to post it.

    I suspect the Campbell Live version is clearer, and you can see that by clicking on the words ‘on his site’ at the end of my fourth paragraph.

  9. I’ve asked to be Joshua’s friend on Facebook, and if he agrees I’ll ask for a copy of his speech.

    It’s in a rapping style, and I see he goes by the nickname ‘Mushy’.

    I’m not a big fan of rap music – normally put a ‘c’ in front of it – but am happy to make an exception in his case.

  10. Truly inspirational- all we need is more believers and doers.
    Well done to Joshua Iosefo, you are a trus legend to the many who are marginalised.

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