OPINION: Dion Tuuta asks the question: ''Who gets to determine whether something is culturally inappropriate?'' (Taranaki Daily News, Jan 28).
He could have done better by asking: What is culture itself?
As I see it, it is difficult to distinguish between Maori culture and Maori religion.
They may well be so inextricably intertwined that many Maori are unable to make a distinction, either.
Mr Tuuta, however, does write of the sacred nature of the mountain and ranges, and frequently we are faced with situations where a tapu is slapped on some piece of ground or another until the appropriate ceremony is performed with hocus-pocus rituals to rid the site of evil spirits.
(I'm not sure, incidentally, how many Maori, many of whom profess to be Christians, can still believe in Maoridom's spirit world, when that multiplicity of beliefs is expressly forbidden by Christianity.)
So, what does Mr Tuuta request of me, a Pakeha - respect for his culture or respect for his religion?
I could respect his culture if I knew exactly what it was, and that would take education.
But as a devout and practising atheist, there is no way I will show the slightest respect for his religion.
His religion, here in the guise of culture, is indeed like all other religions, a ''quaint, stone-age irrelevancy''.
I was born beneath the mountain. It will always be home to me, but at the end of the day it is just a big hill.
- © Fairfax NZ News
He might be one of the toughest men on the planet, but that doesn't stop Hasim Rahman from also being one of the most charming.
Inglewood managed to spoil Stratford's 125th party on Saturday, but only just.
A chance to get a closer glimpse at some Okato artwork has been on offer this Easter weekend.
It was a morning of hearty breakfasts and bulging donation buckets at a Child Cancer Foundation fundraising event.
A major cleanup is under way at New Plymouth's East End roller sport rinks after council drains failed to cope with a combination of high seas and heavy rain.
What do you think of the NPDC's decision not to give iwi representation and voting rights?Related story: Dismay as iwi voting rights denied
Get your mid week news fix
Get your South Taranaki news online
with Rachel Stewart
with Gordon Brown
Matt Rilkoff's perspective of contemporary life
With Kathryn Calvert
The self-confessed bard of Brixton, offers views on life, politics and Akubra hats.
with Glenn McLean