Helicopter gravely offending Mt Cook — according to racist judge Joanna Maze.
Add the name of Judge Joanna Maze to New Zealand’s lengthening list of racist jurists.
Judge Maze actually thought she was being generous in fining a chopper pilot only $3750 for gravely offending Ngai Tahu’s ‘ancestor’ Aoraki (AKA Mt Cook) by hovering over it.
Maze thought this totally victimless crime so appalling that her “starting point for sentencing had to be the maximum penalty available, a fine of $5000.”
(She eventually let him off with $3750 in recognition of his early guilty plea.)
In passing sentence, Judge Joanna Maze said the offence was “seen as one of sacrilege to those to whom Aoraki/Mt Cook is of central cultural importance”.
“The fact that you did it in the interests of trade … is a double offence,” she said.
Tut-tut, you evil money-grubbing capitalist pilot pig. Don’t you know that only Maori are allowed to profit from showing our visitors the wondrous views of our highest mountain?
You will be unsurprised to learn that your Department of Conservation has been complicit in the judicial indulgence of the now-official Maori state religion.
In the summary of facts read to the court, the Department of Conservation (DOC) said the 3754-metre peak represented, to Ngai Tahu, “the most sacred of ancestors, from whom Ngai Tahu descend and who provide the iwi with its sense of communal identity, solidarity and purpose”.
It may be a fact that the more deranged Maori think they’re descended from a mountain. But that’s no reason for state officials to indulge their fantasy and pretend they’re correct. (Or even sane.)
And yet DOC’s website, without any hint of irony, presents such childish superstition as the God-honest truth.
In the increasingly-irrelevant world of the 21st century grown-up, the only people who descend from mountains do so on foot.
And since — correct me if I’m wrong — Maori had yet to invent the shoe by 1840, I doubt whether their ancestors did a lot of ascending or descending above the snowline, let alone to and from the pinnacle of our pre-eminent peak.
Their inability to get anywhere near the summit of Mt Cook may explain why they held it in such high esteem.
(Though what possessed them to imagine the frozen mass to be a blood relative is unclear. Perhaps the old fern root has more hallucinogenic properties than I thought.)
Just because the white man is able to float above their make-believe ancestor in a one-winged steel bird, doesn’t mean these primitive party-poopers should be able to deprive others of the chance to get up close and personal with it.