Every nation has some who for want of a better word are haters, and Aotearoa New Zealand in no exception. Cameron Slater is a notorious right-winger blogger and tweeter. According to Slater, he’s not a racist, he claims instead “I am simply stating that I will not buy from woke companies“. I beg to differ.
Recently Whittaker’s, a large NZ owned and operated confectionery and chocolate manufacturer, announced it intended to rename blocks of its Creamy Milk chocolate as Miraka Kirīmi to celebrate Te Wiki o te Reo Māori (Māori Language Week), an annual event that this year will occur from September 13th through 19th.
Slater, not surprisingly, does not approve and tweeted with the comment “Go woke, go broke… see ya @WhittakersNZ”. And he should know all about broke, having been declared bankrupt by the courts for failing to pay out on defamation judgements made against him. While I like to believe there’s “that of God in every person”, in Slater’s case it is exceptionally well hidden.
The response to the tweet has been overwhelming and almost unanimous. It should provide Whittaker’s with sales beyond their expectation if comments on Twitter and elsewhere are any indication. An article on Newshub is typical of the public and the media’s response to Slater’s tweet. I too will be purchasing extra Whittaker’s chocolates because (a) they make the best chocolate, (b) I support woke (in it’s true meaning of being alert to injustice and discrimination in society,), and (c) most importantly, to piss off Slater.
Personally, I’d be more than happy if Whittaker’s made all their labelling and packaging bilingual on a permanent basis, after all re reo Māori (the Māori language) is an official language of this nation, and if it’s to survive, it needs to be nurtured, not just by Māori themselves, but by all Kiwis. Three out of five New Zealanders now believe re reo Māori should be a compulsory subject at school. Only 23 years ago the singing of out national anthem in Māori caused an outrage amongst some Kiwi, now the convention is that the first verse of the anthem is always sung in Māori. How things have changed (but not for some people such as Slater).
Some comments on Twitter tickled my fancy. Here’s a few: