Thursday, June 21, 2012

no equality if there is inequality

Morgan at Maui St has a good post about Hone Harawira and his personal attitude towards gay marriage. 

Maui St
as I said Hone Harawira is opposed to gay marriage, or marriage equality as it’s positively framed. This position has been opposed universally within the Mana Party. Leading members have asked Hone to justify his position, but he is yet to face the membership with a justification. This is unacceptable from the party leader and he will be rightly savaged for it. 
Hone says he is morally conservative and he is going to hear what Mana Party members think before he declares his position.
Yesterday, he said he would not give his position until the Mana Party decided on its formal policy. When asked if he still had morally conservative views about it, he said: “I have views which are relatively conservative on a range of moral issues”. However, he indicated he would vote accordingly if the party decided in support of gay marriage.
Well I am a paid up member of Mana and my opinion is that all inequality is wrong and must be opposed. Hone has to listen to the voices that will articulate equal rights for same sex couples. There is no compromise on this and I don't think there will be from Mana.

Mana isn't Hone, it is bigger than that and that is why it is a movement of and for the people. I have no issue with any attitude of any office holder as long as it aligns with the parties polices. Hone is a man of mana and he will be learning a lot at the moment and hopefully he is learning the truth of the history about oppression of sexuality and gender. Our struggles are interrelated and there can be no equality if there is inequality. 

Hattip- Maui St,

Friday, June 15, 2012

noisy now

There is an agenda afoot to sell off this country and recently we have seen three developments that are connected to that agenda. The selling of state assets, the TPP and the opening up of exploitation of oil and gas seem to have a momentum that is relentless. They really want to push these through - why is that I wonder.

A great speech by Hone regarding the government selling of our assets. Now is the time to sign the petition and keep the pressure on. 

But the really surprising thing to me, is how long it has taken us to wake up to the fact that selling off resources and assets and services built up by generations of New Zealanders will leave our children and our mokopuna with a future almost too bleak to contemplate.And yet such is the future that this bill and this government, offers us all.
Mr Speaker, MANA opposes this bill to sell off 49% of the shares in Mighty River, Meridian, Genesis and Solid Energy
The opposition is widespread but the fasttracking of the legislation shows the government can't afford to give way on this. If they did their TPP dirty deals mas suffer for instance, and they are dirty indeed. Gordon Campbell has an awesome post on the TPP, as he concludes

Right. In sum, the public has very good reason to feel concerned about (a) the adequacy of the TPP investor state dispute panels (b) the secrecy in which the TPP discussions are being pursued and (c) the emptiness of the Trade Minister’s assurances that everything will be hunky dory. If there is nothing to fear, why the secrecy? Can Groser at least give an assurance that before a document that will bind present and future New Zealand governments is signed, it is submitted to Parliament for scrutiny – and if not, why not?
They will also find it stickier trying to sell off the exploitation rights to oil and gas. As the ODT says
Oil and gas exploration companies have until October to submit exploration work programme bids for one or more of the 23 areas, covering just over 40,000sq km of offshore seabed and more than 3300sq km of land in Waikato, Taranaki, Tasman, the West Coast and Southland. 
These developments are connected, as well as many more that struggle to see the light of day. We have seen the backdown with teacher/student ratios, but these issues are more hidden and have less direct impact on averagekiwi. Key knows this and he has to hold the line - unless we force him not to. Time to up the ante and disturb key's comfort zone and the best way to do that is noise - visual and auditory, consistant and focused. We can do it, we can stop them - we will stop them.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

let them walk

I saw the headline, "The Treaty of Waitangi on the move" and I thought great, the treaty is being moved around this country and maybe discussions on the treaty and tangata whenua and how we sort out the foundational problem of this country, where the treaty has not been honoured, could be facilitated. I imagined events and community involvement when the treaty comes to town, as people use the opportunity to create connections. I thought about the debates we could have that would not be adversorial but cooperative, the insights we would gleen, the maturity as a nation we could attain. And then I read the article about moving the documents to another building to preserve them. It reminded me of when I went below Te Papa and saw the cloaks of our ancestors - the kahu kurī , kahu kiwi, and korowai. Can we really understand without wearing? The feel, the smell, the weight - these cannot be understood while the taonga is lying in a draw. Why not take them out to the people - let them experience the power. And in the same way take the treaty out of its museum and let it walk among the people.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

paula bayonet

Paula Bennett the Minister of Social Welfare continues her attacks on the disadvantaged and vulnerable in our society. She wants Cabinet to consider “introducing court-ordered sanctions or legislative changes to stop some parents from having more children”. For ‘some parents’ just read ‘Māori’ because that is what she is alluding to. Does she really believe in sterilization of some parents or is it a line to generate outrage. Bennett is letting us all down by ignoring the reasons behind this abuse and murder. Those reason lead to the real solutions and Māori such as Rawiri Taonui articulate them well.

So the judges shall decide who has children and who is not allowed to – we have seen the judgements of some of these judges in recent times – pathetic.

Bennett knows that currently a child at risk is removed from their parents and she admits that, “in the past year, 148 children were removed from a parent within days of being born”. So she is really after the children not being born at all because those 148 children aren’t with their parent/s anymore, so it is not about protecting them, they have been removed.

I agree with Metiria Turei co-leader of the Greens, who says about Bennett that

“She expressed great enthusiasm for the idea of forced sterilisation and did say that Cabinet had been considering just that option. Now, she has corrected herself - but I'm not so convinced that they haven't considered or won't consider it in the future.”
How bennett became a minister I just don’t get – oh that’s right she reflects our society and its beliefs. Bennett says that it is not about banning people from having children, but instead giving them the message that if they have another child it will be removed from them at birth. This is already done but bennett doesn’t want that to get in the way of the story. Don’t be mistaken it is fiscally based as well as ideologically driven.

Within our society we have people from all ethnicities and backgrounds who abuse and kill their children. The children have to be protected but sterilizing the parents is not the answer, that solution is disgusting. Māori figure highly in the statistics relating to abuse and murder of children. Rawiri Taonui wrote Mana Tamariki: Cultural Alienation. Māorichild homicide and abuse published in AlterNative: An International Journal of Indigenous Scholarship, Vol. 6 Issue 3, p187-202, (2011), on this subject and he found that the eye witness evidence from the first Europeans corroborate evidence from Māori knowledge including waiata and whakatauki showing children were treated with respect and tolerance traditionally by parents in Māori society. Yes, some children were abused or killed as isolated incidents, as is true within the histories of all peoples, but the prevalence of this abuse today, for Māori, has its genesis in colonisation and deprivation.

No one is trying to minimise the issue or pretend it doesn’t exist but to seriously deal with the issue means to understand what the real reasons are for it and that leads to where some of the solutions may lie. Re-enculturalization is one area of solutions, as Rawiri Taonui says,
“Promoting the rebuilding of culture within the perpetrator not only includes the beliefs and values of the ancestors, but also the history of the people, including colonization. At an individual level, this knowledge has the ability to dissipate anger by raising consciousness. Positive enculturalization enhances a sense of belonging, rebuilds identity and promotes self-worth. This facilitates the healing of relationships within families.” (p199).
Obviously there is still major work to be done and although current Māori child murder rates are decreasing at twice the rate as that for non-Māori, to achieve any momentum needs the government to support tangata whenua initiatives and ideas. Instead of sterilizing people, they need to be actually trying to fix the issues. There are considered views from Māori that need to be heard. Rawiri Taonui sums it up well,
“We rarely recognise that colonization and its concomitant intergenerational impacts constitute violence: colonization is the application of anger upon vulnerable peoples. This violence has a reciprocal reaction within the societies upon which it is inflicted: cultural alienation, forced assimilation and cumulative marginalization create anger in indigenous societies. Where this anger is not understood, it becomes internalized within the colonized society and inverts upon itself. The indigenous oppressed attack each other. Angry men fight each other, sometimes in gangs, the red fights the blue. Anger seeks the weak and vulnerable in the form of mothers and children, violence expresses itself by seeking innocence. Re-enculturalization can emancipate individuals, families and tribal groups” (p 199).
Now that is an analysis, not bennetts numbnuts approach. Sadly this whole angle from Bennett may just be a “go too far and then pull back to the actual position” approach – or maybe she really does believe it – I’m not sure which of those two scenarios scare me the most, they are both filthy.