Category Archives: Culture

it is Whanganui – no debate.

Open letter to Mic( )ael Laws and more or less the whole city of Whanganui.


some time ago when I was a young ideological student in the late 1980’s I watched with absolute horror at the country and it’s frenzy to keep the Homosexual Law Reform Bill from passing. So fervent was the opposition, that nearly 80% of the country was opposed to the bill, hundreds of thousands of people signed the petition – so impassioned was the opposition they even managed to get Mickey Mouse to sign the petition. This was a moral campaign.

Skip a couple of years watching a Spike Lee movie. The most memorable moment in the movie to me was when the father was teaching the son that the most important thing in the world is respect. Respect for fellow human beings leads to greater understanding and empathy. Despite all of the racial mayhem going on around them, the father was taking the time to teach the child this most wonderful and basic of human traits – respect.

Fast forward to Wanganui 2009. Same impassioned people, same fervent opposition, to yet another seemingly non issue. I care not one bit for your opposition to the name of the city being returned to it’s correct spelling. I care that the somewhat ‘majority’ of the people have been conned into thinking that disrespecting the local indigenous people is a good state to be in.

It is very simple, the name of the River and the city includes the H, without it, it is meaningless, further it is disrespectful. It says, we know this is how it should be spelt, but we don’t care, your language and mana whenua mean nothing to us. Just as Micael Laws without the H is meaningless, so is Whanganui.

I always mistook you for someone with a level of reason and intelligence, however seemingly backing oneself into a corner with no way out often results in intrenched opinions at the detriment of rational debate. The respect that I once held for you would easily be found again, if you showed the local IWI that very same respect and gave them their name back. Hundred year old injustices don’t need to be perpetuated in New Zealand 2009. Just as our elected officials took the less popular approach and bought Homosexuality into the public realm with dignity, as should the elected officials in the case of the correct spelling of the city Whanganui

Thank you very much for your time sir.



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The Who are coming to NZ!!!

March 21 North Shore Stadium, The Who live in NZ, first time since 1968, on the infamous tour with The Small Faces.

Bring it on!!!


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What damage Maori – National?

{Updated more or less immediately: Sharples admits preference for Labour. One leader is playing Kiss and Catch with Key, while the other listens to his constituents and prefers Labour – fun times for the Maori Party}

Politics is a funny thing, and even more so in this day and age of MMP (don’t get me wrong FPP was just flat out fraud).

But as soon as a minor party is played as the King Maker by the media, they start to believe it and do silly things. First there was Winnie, then Peter Dunne and now the Maori Party.

They have all had their egos massaged and their electoral egos and punch massaged and inflated beyond what is required of them, or defined by the electorate.

Despite the vast vast majority of Maori intending not to vote National (as indicated by most polls), get it they aren’t going to vote National, the Maori Party and John Key have been playing a very public courting game (you can almost hear the hushed voice of Sir David Attenborough, “here we have the Turia bird dancing around the puffy chested Key bird”).

Gordon Campbell has talked about this at length, and it’s worth considering, is the Maori Party courting disaster/retribution at the 2011 election?

I would add to that, with this very public song and dance going on (they’ve even forgiven blatant racism less than 24hrs after the news erupted), is there enough time before polling day for the Maori Party to have already done the damage. I understand Tariana Turia’s intense dislike of Helen Clark and the Labour Party over what it did with the Foreshore and Seabed (to the white’s out there, this is a modern treaty breach of the highest magnitude), and there may be a massive attempt by Tariana Turia to hurt Labour over that. But at what cost?

I don’t know if Maori voters will be turned off with the prospect of their party in bed with the whites, oldest, male centred party we have had a in a long time. I know the folk I’ll be voting for, The Greens, have at least ruled National out – thank god.

But in all honesty can a Maori voter go to the polls knowing that a vote for the Maori Party is a vote for National? Time will tell and there’s a PHD topic in there for some bright spark post election.

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How much of this is palatable to core National voters

Recently the Maori party has signalled that it could work with the National Party, post election. We are still deciphering what John Key thinks or says about this stance, you see it’s not us interpreting his words that is the problem, he’s contradicting himself left right and centre over this issue.

Anyway, seeing that there is a very real possibility that he will need more than the support of ACT and United Future, Key has been fishing (trolling) about for supportive parties. The leadership of the Maori party seems to be in conflict with it’s core support, which has quite clearly shown that a Maori Party – National Party coalition is not what they want, but they’ve said they’ll work with National anyway (political suicide of the highest degree).

So out of this Key, Sharples and Tariana Turia are all talking coalition post election. The only thing is, the conditions for such a coalition would seemingly be almost unpalatable to core national voters in the blue ribbon and rural ridings. The Maori Party today unveiled it’s treaty policy position, and being a Maori Party, they are pretty core to their principals (which I have no qualms with despite the content). However by entrenching Maori seats in the statutes, Abolishing treaty claims cap, repealing Foreshore and Seabed legislation and Heritage studies to be part of the core curriculum. Aside from the lunacy of Heritage Studies to be compulsory for all new immigrants (why should they know more about our history that most locals do?), the rest I would imagine be rather hard to stomach across some of the dinner tables in Ranfurly or Taihape, and even less across the canapés of Remuera.

Still Key’s signalled he could lift the cap on treaty settlements, so I’m guessing he’s going to say yes publicly to these guys no matter what they say.

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Lockwood’s at it again.

“National MP Lockwood Smith regrets causing any offence after saying Asians have small hands that make them more productive and Pacific workers need to be taught to use toilets and showers.”

NZ Herald

Nothing really to say, this isn’t political correctness gone wrong, it’s racial generalisation and in any society it can not be tolerated.

Update: Here’s the Audio of the comments, they are even more startlingly and profoundly offensive first hand. Kiwiblog is asking for his resignation, can’t argue with that, harsh but fair.

The pure comedy of the whole thing is the stunningly brilliant journalism at the end of the second audio file, when questioned should he be careful with what he says these days considering there have been secret recordings of him in the past, Smiths reply:

“it doesn’t trouble me much as I don’t say anything that would trouble me.”

First Audio File
Second Audio File

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Dirty little man

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a top 10 list to make National cringe

At the end of the first week of campaigning, in which some were saying Key won the leaders debate, but spent the rest of the week defending allegations of lying or justifying his economic policies which have come under attack from more or less every right leaning economic and political commentator.

So at the end of the week looking at a more scientific way of readiing the pulse of the people rather than pseudo scientific poll post leaders debate, here are the top 10 political news articles on Stuff’s web site this friday 17 October. Continue reading


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