Here’s Communist Workers Group member, Justin Taua on the death of the Kahui twins, quoted on his comrade Scott Hamilton’s blog, Reading the Maps.
Taua gave this talk to the Waitemata Branch of the UNITE trade union. He is a close relative of the Kahui family.
Yes, some people really do think like this.
The families and individuals who are part of the rootless army of excess cheap labour, unable to cope, too poor and demoralised, are forced to gather in clusters under one roof to share the ever increasing cost of living. Hope is drenched in a cocktail of drugs, alcohol and slot machines. At every stage along the way, the wheels of profit suck the very dignity out of these people. This is life for the Kahui whanau.
PM Helen Clark’s announcement that a special working task force be set up to investigate housing where overcrowding by beneficiaries is a problem, will in short amount to a witch-hunt. Without addressing the real problem of insufficient housing, that task force is more likely to recommend more sweeping powers for the police. In a climate of increasing draconian State intervention (War on Terror) and ‘get tough on crime’, the scene is set for a standardised imperialist police state modelled on that of which the United States is hoping to achieve.
When Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples was asked to intervene by one of his personal staff (also a Kahui), it was in accordance with the kaupapa of whanaungatanga (supporting family) as well as his duty as MP for Tamaki. For the state and traditionalists, the mana of that leadership together with that of tribal elders was being put to the test.
The inevitable failure of that intervention can be put down to the new mode of Maori leaders being no more than bureaucratic bargaining agents for the State. Sharples’ description of the Kahui whanau as ‘dysfunctional’ and showing disrespect towards himself and the elders, shows how out of touch and blind to the real causes he and that leadership are. Stripped of any real power, their limited politics and compromise has forced many individuals and communities to seek alternative directions.
For the more marginalised such as the Kahui whanau, that direction could potentially have a more brutal outcome. As gang affiliates, they know the retributional nature of gang justice, particularly in regards to crimes against children. Their silence has meant a determination to settle justice on their own terms with honour and without interference from the State. Unlike State law where the aggrieved are no more than passive bystanders; it is the aggrieved who will decide the fate of the guilty.
To paint the Kahui whanau as honourable would force the State to give recognition to a set of values outside of its control. Political and media silence on the issue is driven by the fear of opening up a Pandora’s Box that would threaten to undermine bourgeois power and authority. The recent case of two Headhunters tried for chopping off the finger of a fellow gang member for breaking gang rules, reminds us that parallel justice (or injustice) systems do exist outside of the State in Aotearoa.
Workers could independently put the ‘system’ on trial and set up courts to try the real criminals responsible for inflicting the chaotic ‘dysfunction’ that is capitalism. Its reactionary barbarism and gang behaviour expropriated from the past would be consigned to history.
None of the concerns focused on the issue of guilt, have addressed where the real guilt lies. Justice determined outside of workers control is always going to be in the interests of individuals who do not have the mandate of the majority who constitute the working class.
The present reality for workers is far from what is being described. But independence as a working class free of State control is a goal that must be achieved in order to affect the process leading to revolutionary change. By doing so, real and lasting justice will come to babies Chris and Cru Kahui together with their distant cousin Steven Wallace all working class descendants from Ngaruahine Iwi of South Taranaki.