New Zealand – Common WEALTH or Common STEALTH?

To many people, New Zealand is one of the most sought-after countries for many English folk to move to, either to emigrate, or retire.

Why? Because we think that the whole country and its massive natural resources belong to us. But why should we think that? What about the people that lived peacefully there since the beginning of the first century – the Maori peoples from Polynesia?

Too many times, we seem to think that this whole area of the Pacific was populated by tribes of fierce savages, who knew nothing of the ‘civilized’ world, and allegedly had no idea of commerce or interaction with other nations. For many such peoples, they became ‘fair game’ to the more ‘advanced’ civilizations of the west, such as Britain, France and Spain, who would go to any lengths to secure new additions to their overseas empires.

Even if there was a lack of commercial awareness in these conquered States, what gave anybody the right to take over and attempt to destroy, the local religions, belief, and traditions of these indigenous peoples? After all, if Britain had lost the Second World War, we would probably now all be using German as our first language, and there would have been no religious freedom of expression allowed. Would that have made us a better country? I doubt it. There would have been much dissent and undertones of revolt, and a feeling that we were robbed of our heritage.

The facts are that at the turn of the 19th Century, the Maori people had established a Bank (Te Whare Awaroa Mauri Trust Bank) and a newspaper (The Native Courier) in 1808. Hardly the activities to be expected from so-called ‘ignorant savages’.

In 1816 Te Wakaminenga O Nga Hapu formed a Maori Court with laws based on Tikanga Maori (in response to the lawless and unruly behaviour of visiting whalers, sealers and other foreigners) and enforced the laws accordingly. They further planned to unite the tribes operating on two levels by uniting the Ariki blood lines, and forming an army in a common defence policy against to ever-increasing immigration issues.

In the same year the authority of Maori Sovereignty was recognised and registered in the House of Westminster, England, as well as recognised by other nations such as America, France, Japan and Te Moananui A Kiwa. (United Pacific Nations)

The growth of settlers and whalers into New Zealand in the first quarter of the 19th Century had a devastating effect on the Maori people. Not only were they becoming outnumbered, but disease introduced from the settlers was causing massive numbers deaths from illnesses that in the Western world were just mild complaints.

A lot of settlers were carrying out illegal purchase of land in this time period, and introducing new types of crops, and new ways of fishing (especially whaling), and this activity caused a lot of friction between many of the Maori iwi (Tribes), leading to a whole series of brutal inter-tribal wars. To try and redress …

Olympias – The Mother of Alexander the Great

Olympias was born c.371 BC in the Molossian kingdom of Epirus on the borders of modern day Albania. She was about fourteen years old when she met king Philip of Macedon at a mystery cult festival in Samothrace. It is said that Philip immediately fell in love with her, however this is probably an over romantic version of reality.

Philip had been a very shrewd and successful ruler who had united the various tribes of Macedon into a recognizable kingdom. He had led his kingdom to victories against the other Greeks, most notably Thebes, Sparta and Athens. He had already begun an effective empire that filled the vacuum left after the thirty years of Peloponnesian war between Sparta and Athens in the 5th Century BC. After Sparta defeated Athens, both city states seemed to have exhausted themselves to the point that the Macedonians were able to move across Greece incorporating the city states under Macedonian authority.

Philip's political awareness led him to make a number of political marriages. The Macedonian kings practiced polygamy, therefore Olympias was not the only wife of Philip, though she was his only queen. Philip married seven times, the order of the interviews were as follows: Phila, Audata, Philinna, Olympias, Nikesipolis, Meda and finally Cleopatra in 337 BC. It is remarkable that Olympia managed to become queen, since Philip had older marriages which it might be reasonable to suggest would have been more established. Olympias must have made some impression on Philip to achieve the status of queen.

Olympias became pregnant with Alexander soon after she married and he was born in 356 BC. She had another child, Cleopatra later. She was an avid worshiper of the god Dionysus and ancient writers suggest that she had an interest in using snakes in the worship of her favorite god. The writer Plutarch says that one time Philip saw her sleep with a snake in her bed and after this time he became distant from his wife. Plutarch says that Philip then took other wives which incited jealousy in Olympias. The final breaking point came when Attalus one of Philip's men made a toast to Philip at his wedding fever to Attalus' neice Cleopatra saying that they should all pray that Cleopatra produces a legal successor to the throne. Alexander showed his rage and thread a cup at Attalus. Philip sided with Attalus. Alexander and Olympias left Macedon for Epirus.

Olympias did not help such incidents and in some ways added fuel to the fire. Her intense and dangerous character meant that in a superstitious time, she could make herself seem more in league with the gods than with mortals. She said to have told Alexander that he was the son of Zeus, not Philip and Alexander modeled himself on the hero Achilles who himself had a goddess mother.

Olympias understood how power worked during the 4th century BC. This was a time when men dominated politics and where women gained power through the men around them. Aspasia, …