Monday, October 19, 2009

Good on you Pita

Should it be a concern if the Minister of Maori affairs invites some gang leaders to a hui? When they meet he tells them there were new rules here - respect. What is wrong with that?

Rob muldoon, while leader of the country did the same. You have to engage with people, even people you may not agree with, if you want to effect change, don't you?

from the SST

“The government stands accused of sending mixed messages in its war on P-producing criminals following revelations senior Mongrel Mob and Black Power members were flown to Auckland at taxpayers' expense for a secret hui with a minister.

“At least one drug kingpin, with convictions for manufacturing methamphetamine in a multimillion-dollar drug operation, was among those present at the meeting at Te Puni Kokiri's Auckland office in March, which Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples opened by telling the 16 assembled gang heads there were "new rules here – respect", and asking about their gripes in getting assistance from government agencies.”

The problem with 'p' isn't just the sellers it is the buyers and the buyers aren't many maori – no matter what they would have you believe. If you want to stop 'p' sure, put in place laws against it but try digging into the so-called respectable professions and industries where people use it weekly, if not daily. And if you are meeting with gang leaders it is not rocket science to expect some serious previous convictions with some of them.

"Why are we fighting whakapapa against whakapapa? There's so much enemy that is not brown."

Those words from Pita are correct. All the time the mantra of 'maori have to help themselves' is pushed out, well look at this – it is an example of maori helping maori. It's good!

"More than $6200 was spent on the hui." Bloody hell call out the serious fraud office! LOL

As Sharples says, "They [gangs] are Maori. They are our children and our nephews, whether we like it or not. While we don't think gangs are a good lifestyle, it doesn't mean to say we turn our back on our own children."

Is it a big deal that key didn't know? There is nothing worse than micro-management and key has shown that he gives ministers plenty of rope to stuff things up, before he rides in as the white knight. Sharples is with another party so why the hell should he have to ask permission for a meeting... he shouldn't - it is all a big beat up.
"Labour law and order spokesman Clayton Cosgrove said the government's behind-the-scenes overtures towards gangs undermined its hardline public stance, which Labour supported.

"The government's talking tough in public, and on the other hand, behind the scenes, its ministers are meeting with gang leaders, using taxpayers' money to do it. They don't do that in public of course, it's taken an OIA to prise that out of the system," he said.

"It's not on. The only thing Mr Sharples does in meeting patched gang members is to somehow legitimise them."

Nice try but you missed and so sad to hear those lines from labour.
"Denis O'Reilly, a Napier-based Black Power spokesman and anti-P campaigner who was one of the delegates present, said Sharples' meeting with the gang leaders was "completely consistent" with the government's avowed war on P."

"Sharples has worked with gangs since the underworld wars of the 1970s, although it was his first meeting with them as Maori affairs minister. The work was part of a whanau social assistance package designed to help ensure marginalised families were receiving all the assistance to which they were entitled."

This is a good news story. Engaging with marginalised groups, working on solutions, not trying to get on TV with it, appealing to mana and culture. This is the right way to go. Good on you Pita – keep up the good work.

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