Friday, April 26, 2013

same shit, same shit

Well we knew Susan Devoy was going to struggle in her new role - and so far it has proven to be. Her latest speech, described as a "slow motion train crash" shows just how far from being able to fulfill her role she is. I'm starting to believe that when devoy says stuff like "same shit, different day", when asked about the nature of her new work, that she is being deliberately provocative. 

The big issue is that it becomes all about her and not about the role itself which is not only needed but needing to have a strong, understanding and empathetic person in there. Susan is not that person and I cannot see how she will make it very far in the role, especially when she describes the Wellington staff as "difficult". It seems that the drive and determination of a squash player are not so transferable to the Race Relations role, but those qualities could be useful in creating a fairer society - it depends on the person really.

The lack of insight by devoy and the lack of tolerance from many people over her lack of insight will make devoy very gunshy - she won't speak up, she won't advocate, she won't put herself on the line against the almost constant racism we find here. No, we will have a fake role with fake concern and fake action - meanwhile life goes on for the disadvantaged in our society, as devoy says, "same shit, different day".

Friday, April 19, 2013

bitter bob

It is pretty disappointing when someone rips into a good initiative for Māori. In Tauranga ex-MP bob the builder clarkson is having a go at some excellent much needed housing for Māori. The initiative is great but bob shows his real agenda and it is one we have seen many times before. But first the initiative

The community housing project at Mangatawa Marae was officially formalised in July 2010, with stage one of the project, 16 small homes for kuia and kaumatua (elderly), completed last year.
The project's next stage involves 12 three- to five-bedroom family homes built and infrastructure for eight more.
The 12 houses will have affordable rents, calculated by the tenant's income and the last eight will be kaianga whenua, or personally owned.
When the project is finished there will be 36 houses in the Papakainga housing project.
We need so much more of this community housing. It is the way of the future - live near each other in housing suitable for purpose with shared areas and community areas. The money has come from a grant
It has come from Putea Maori, a $13 million capital grant fund available to Maori for the purpose of increasing affordable rental housing. Putea Maori is part of the Social Housing Unit, which has set aside $104 million during three years (2012-15) to help people get good quality homes through community housing.
It is great that there is dedicated finance for this although obviously the amounts should be much much more to really make a difference and alleviate suffering. Now bob has started off on the wrong foot
"It's bloody lovely. I've got nothing against Maori but...
It's always the but isn't it? It doesn't occur to this dim that it is not the fault of Māori that they were able to secure funding dedicated to that purpose. They should be praised not attacked. Bob then rants on about how it should be open to all and so on but really it is about his pet project being rejected - he is bitter.
But Mr Clarkson said it was not fair for one section of the community to be eligible for funds when many in the wider population also suffered.
The city council last year "shot down" his plan to provide 1000 affordable homes for $280,000 each. Everyone should be able to access affordable housing, no matter what colour their skin was, he said.
and there he gives us the whole picture - skin colour. People like clarkson are insidious in their racism - it's all pretend, pretend, pretend whammy! pretend, pretend ad nauseaum - it is an old game and relatively successful which is why it is so common. You can't argue with these people or rather there is no point because they cannot be truthful and honest, they prefer to hide and pretend. But the truth comes out obliquely, they slip and they say things as clarkson has above. There are many people who think like clarkson, hell we know some of them and the online poll shows currently
Ridiculous. This should be available to non-Maori, too  83%
It's fair. It's much harder for Maori to afford a home      17%
Nice that stacked question isn't it not? Just more of the same. Meanwhile the houses are getting built for Māori and that is a great effort. Kia kaha.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

the headlights get bigger

The pressure on John Key is showing as it does for all liars that get caught. He is starting to slide down the rabbit hole now, and funny as that is, it has awful consequences for some groups in our society. The Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) has been naughty. They have illegally spied on NZ citizens because they didn't agree with the legislation that governed them or they just interpreted the very clear words incorrectly. The Kitteridge Report has shown how low things have got to. Changes have to be made says key so he is going to make their illegal spying legal and then it will all be good. And now he has come out with the most pathetic excuse - WMD's - weapons of mass destruction!!!

there have been covert attempts to acquire New Zealand science and technology for programmes relating to weapons of mass destruction or weapons delivery systems.
While the terrorism threat in New Zealand has remained low, there are people within our country who have links to off-shore terrorist groups
OMG!!! key has just rattled off the same lying meme that killed so many in their wars.

But it isn't funny because middle NZ will believe him. They will lap it all up and ask for more because it suits their often do-nothing, selfish attitude. They won't remember the last time the terrorism word was used in anger and the devastation to community, to peoples lives, to the innocent charged and dragged before the court system and to the political prisoners who did their time as a protest against the system that wrongfully imprisoned them. They forget but we don't forget, because the groups that will be spied on are us, they are Māori, and all others who oppose so much that is happening - those against the mining, the political corruption, the dirty TPPA deal. Those groups who care, include indigenous rights activists, fighters against poverty, injustice, inequality and fight for the disadvantaged and the environment. These are the people who get spied on for all sorts of reasons, very few of them valid. The branding of terrorist will begin and the sullying of reputations will begin and the eternal battle for mana will continue. All of this nastiness began because John Key is trying to hide and bluster his way out of his lies. And yes, he really is that low.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

police state obvious

Anyone who knows anything knows that Māori get targeted by the police. The release of the latest police statistics shows that, not only are Māori youth being apprehended more in most categories but, they also have more prosecutions against them. Think about that, what a terrible indictment upon a group of young people in our country and for no reason other than the way they look - because sure as hell they won't be checking whakapapa records will they.

JustSpeak have released the following excellent infographic where the picture tell a thousand stories of hardship and discrimination.

Good on them for putting the data out there in such an understandable way. The hard data is compelling too I recommend you go here to read the numbers of apprehensions which have alarming consequences for young Māori. In general more get apprehended and more definitely get prosecuted - that is a double whammy right there. The sickest thing is, guess who gets blamed for this - that's right young Māori do. And sometimes to spice it up they blame all Māori. 

The real blame is hardly ever attributed to the correct place, but as Anthony Robins points out in Poverty Watch on The Standard when describing the Office of the Children’s Commissioner (OCCC) 2012 report “Child Poverty in New Zealand evidence for action" - the truth doesn't pull any punches.

"OCC report pulls no punches at all.
Mäori poverty needs to be considered against the backdrop of colonisation. Recent research documenting the experiences of Mäori whänau living in financial hardship notes that any analysis of the financial and material deprivation of whänau is incomplete without understanding Mäori economic development pre-colonisation, and the impact of land confiscation and war (Baker K., et al., 2012). The alienation of land and resources saw the loss of a cultural, spiritual and economic base (Cram, 2011). It has had a long-reaching impact that continues to shape attitudes towards Mäori in New Zealand. The devastating effects of racism and discrimination in health and elsewhere have been well documented (Reid, 1999; Robson & Harris, 2007; Mills et al., 2012). The legacy of colonialism has been the ‘differential distribution of social, political, environmental and economic resources and well-being within this country with Mäori bearing the brunt of disparities in many areas’ (Cram, 2011, p156)."
No one is suggesting that we go back in time to right the wrongs that occurred there - we can't, but we can move forward and to do that requires a few changes. The big one is that Māori have to be trusted. The evidence is that we are a long way away from that today. The destruction caused by young Māori being targeted by the police by apprehension and then getting prosecuted more, is felt within all Māori communities and this country feels it too. It is too foolhardy to believe the police attitudes will change any time soon, they won't. They are a reflection of the Government attitudes to Māori. Will middle NZ change - I don't think so, they may adjust their cushion but that's about it from them. No, the change has to come from Māori and people who support the kaupapa through belief in equality, whānau, love or for whatever reason we support the kaupapa, that is where the change has to come. We must talk loudly about this injustice against these youth, the mana must be reestablished for our rangatahi.

Friday, April 12, 2013

the crackle mirror

Those who care about poverty and the people, especially children, who find themselves in this desperate situation, they know - they know the consequences of Paula Bennett the Minister of Social Welfare and her bill, they know the downstream effects of creating more desperation and more poverty. Yep Paula Bennett is really getting into her work now and that work is demonizing and making life impossible for the poor and beneficiaries in our society. The most vulnerable, the most in need, those that should be looked after are going to be dealt to by Paula, she doesn't care, 

as Hone says,
the reality is there’ll be huge downstream costs for the people and families involved and ultimately for us all. Saving a buck here to then spend mega bucks later on dealing with things like homelessness and ill health is more than pointless. It shows a lack of thought and care that is simply disgusting.
Sue Bradford says "I am really fearful of what is to come" and "The results of all this will be tragic and costly.." So true and everyone knows it. Our society is going to be sorely tested by this because it further widens the gap between the haves and have nots. It is deliberate too, that is an almost unbelievable epiphany to have. Paula Bennett is doing this to the most disadvantaged in our society deliberately, because she wants to and is ideal for the task for many reasons, as Sue Bradford states
Much better to have a Maori woman, a former solo mum, taking the lead, than a former school teacher from the white South Island heartlands.
And Bennett knows what she’s doing.
She knows it even more than someone like Shipley, which makes her leadership role in this even worse. Paula Bennett’s seeming naivety and smiling, bubbly front mask a long, deep commitment to National’s ideology – a belief in helping the already-rich get richer while the poor are forced into ever deeper poverty, no matter the downstream social and economic costs.
Our most disadvantaged are being tossed aside and many will be Māori. The recent UNICEF report on child poverty in NZ showed that this country ranks 21 out of 35 for levels of child poverty. We know it is beyond bad and that the government is pretending to ignore the issue while adding to it, as we see with the Bill above. Hone says
what the report clearly shows is that when governments are fully committed to and invest in reducing child poverty, it does reduce. And what the report clearly shows for New Zealand is that child poverty is not reducing.
No it is not reducing, not even slightly and the reason is clear - they don't even measure it - they can't because. as bennett states in the video,  "there is not a Government measure for poverty." You probably won't find that funny but Paula Bennett thought it was hilarious as The Standard and NRT  and the short version with  Mickey show. That was no nervous giggle - sure she was chased down, completely flustered the whole way, until Jacinda Ardern got her. She was caught with no where to go and so she just giggled. You work it out - to me it says that she just cannot be bothered with any of that stuff - you know the stuff about people and real lives. She is totally living in a bubble of aloof disconnection deliberately maintained against evidence, morality and a belief that people mean something, individually and collectively. 

I don't think Paula Bennett likes people.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

instead of a handshake

Sometimes the bigots are so over the top that they parody themselves and just sound funny and well a bit idiotic and such is the case with a recent visitor, "the right-wing (Krarup is a member of parliament for the Danish People's Party, which is described as a very right-wing party by political commentators)" Danish politician, Marie Krarup.I added all the bits together to get the point across - this is from a "an opinion piece in Danish newspaper Berlingske Tidende",

" ...dubbing the powhiri an "uncivilised" ritual, and marae a "grotesque" mark of multicultural worship." "When we came to a naval base, we were not received with a handshake or salute by uniformed men as usual," she wrote. "No, we were welcomed with a Maori dance ritual, with a half-naked man in grass skirt, shouting and screaming in Maori." and she said the man performed "strange rituals and poked his tongue out."She said she felt like an "idiot" when giving a hongi, When it was time to sing, Krarup said the waiata sounded like a Danish children's song about a happy ladybird. She said it was accompanied by a "kindergarten-teacher-guitar-accompaniment".The marae, or "Maori temple", was a form of cultural self-destruction, according to Krarup."It was decorated with God-figures with angry faces and large erect penises," she said."It's a mystery to me how the poor naval officers could endure both the ceremony and the surroundings."
a happy ladyird - hmm okay, large erect penises - hmmmmm oKay now we get it. And it is quite alright for this Danish person to have her views - who cares - it is just funny to see them all in a pile, sitting together, stacked up. It is also useful to know that these extreme right wing funny thinking people are in many countries not just here.

Friday, April 5, 2013

the cut key

Prime Minister John Key has been caught telling lies. It sounds bad and it is bad. Politicians are often circumspect with the truth, they weave and dodge as the case may be - but lying is bad form and being caught lying, even worse, and then telling more lies to get out of the first lie, oh dear things start unwinding then. That is what is happening to John Key at the moment, he is under pressure, so much so, that he has taken a desperate gamble - He has said he will no longer take anything other that written questions lol - he has packed a real sad.

he will no longer answer questions about his actions without warning, following controversy over his role in the appointment of spy boss Ian Fletcher.
During an interview on Radio Live, Key described those reporting on the story as ''knuckle heads'' and said he would change his approach to answering questions both in Parliament and to the media.
Without warning? What is that - the sound of one hand clapping. That just shows he is vacuous, vain and full of hubris, he is.
Denying accusations that he had lied by omission, he said he had only had ''15 seconds, with no warning, on a process that happened 18 months ago'' and he should have taken time to research the answer.
''What I should have done, and what I will be doing in the future, is saying, well, the member needs to put that down to me in writing, and I'll be doing that to the journalists as well,'' Key said.
''Coz if you want perfection of everything I have done, two, three, four, five years ago, I will get you all that information for you, but I'll get you the whole lot and give it to you,'' he said.
Hey! we aren't talking about 2, 3, 4 years ago, remember your mate, the one you rang to let him in on the job as our top spy? Remember how you said you knew him vaguely but then we find out you've sat and ate with him three times, and you were pushing for him to be in on a top job in 2009? And we're not going to forget Kim Dotcom.

I hope the public take a long hard long at our Prime Minister because as they will see the truth about him, that will tilt their ship enough that we can stop there exploitative agenda and force them to back down on so many important issues.

I think The Standard have done a great job with revealing details and facts to really question the appointment entirely. Eddie with Cronyism got it rolling, plus Vance asks the right questions on Key cronyism and then Karol posted some really good ones, The CV of a Spy Boss, then, Rennie: Key vetoed the shortlist?, and Fletcher GCSB Change Manager - and QLD.

Rob too with Key needs time to egt his story straight. That is the way to deliver the information and all of it quality. The Standard is one of my favorite sites - the debate is robust and sometimes very funny, identities get irritated by each other and sometimes end up if feuds, then a post comes along when you find enemies agreeing on something else and away it goes again. There are the fact finders, the stirrers, the trolls, and the regulars, semi-regulars and the many lurkers. A lot of fun and jeepers you learn a lot, most of it very interesting. So if you don't already, go visit the site I recommend it.

I also saw a really good roundup  in NBR by Bryce Edwards in NZ Political Daily on the scenario that unfolded. Highly recommend that one, although I was disappointed that The Standard wasn't even mentioned yet others were, who were frankly not really up to it. Bryce misses a few key bits that are there when you read The Standard bloggers. Anyway, don't want to give any that visit here a swell head and all that, it can often be irritating and can make you really shake your head..

The latest where Key is only going to take written questions is laugh out loud funny - he can't get out of it easily anymore. It is embarrassing in so many ways, to have him as the Prime Minister of this country. We can't right the wrongs with this type of person there. He tells lies in parliament, on camera and to everyone. He pretends to himself. It is not good enough to have a PM who does that and says he will only take written questions thus bringing into ridicule the whole office of PM. Come on, this emperor has no clothes.

Yhanks to all th journalists who's articles I linked to and to Blip for their extensive list of lies from key on The Standard,

comment about Māori not a joke

If you have lived in this country long enough you hear every vile, disgusting comment made against Māori - every low and slimey slur and put-down and even though we have heard it all, it still hurts to hear another.

Palmerston North city councillor Bruce Wilson has just uttered a disgusting one

Councillor Bruce Wilson was speaking at the community wellbeing committee this week about a proposed smokefree policy covering the central city around and including The Square.
He said if the aim was to stop adults role-modelling smoking behaviour, and given 41 per cent of Maori women smoked, perhaps they should be sterilised.
 But wait - his defenders say it was all an attempt at humour, you know a bit of a laugh
City mayor Jono Naylor said he was surprised and incredibly disappointed, and thought the comment uncharacteristic. "If it was an attempt at humour, it was a poor attempt." 
Committee chairman Lew Findlay said "I don't think he meant it the way it came out. He tried to make out it was a joke, but he did say it in front of a crowd."
National Council of Women Manawatu branch president Audrey Jarvis said that it was "the stupidest joke I ever heard".
You see, just a fucking joke but think about this - what type of person makes an attempted joke about that. 

The joke line is often used when someone says something very offensive, they think they can weasel out by pretending they weren't serious, just having a lark, trying to lighten things up a bit. He said it in public - what do you think he says in private?

Only problem with the joke defence is that Wilson doesn't say it was a joke he says
Wilson said he would apologise to people at the meeting, and deeply regretted not thinking much harder before speaking.
"I'm publicly apologising, to anybody, anywhere who is offended, and I'm totally prepared to retract in public if the mayor allows me that opportunity."
Yep he should have 'thought harder' - that means keeping his private thoughts to himself rather than spewing them in public and he confirms this with
He also said it was not something he would say to the media.
Well too late, you have been outed and in any sane world you would resign or be sacked but that won't happen, oh know he will say sorry and then carry on undermining Māori and being a racist representative of the people that voted for him.

We let these people off too lightly - and trying to get out of it by using the 'joke' defence is as bad as using the 'should have thought harder' defence - they are not a defence they are just useless excuses.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

underreported struggles 72

More essential underreported struggles from Ahni at Intercontinental Cry

underreported struggles 72

Representatives of nearly 200 Kreung families in Cambodia’s Ra­tanakkiri province filed a complaint with local rights group Adhoc, accusing a Vietnamese rubber company of clearing their ancestral land. The government however, says that the Kreung no longer have rights to land in question no longer their land, because it was sold to the company. The government went on to ask the villagers to start applying for private land titles; otherwise, they’ll have nowhere to go when the company arrives.

A small delegation of respected Rohingya leaders unexpectedly showed up at a conference at Mahidol University in Bangkok to halt the further degradation of the history of Arakan. None of the Rohingya leaders nor any member of the Rohingya community were invited to the so-called International Conference on the History of Arakan; a conference whose speakers followed the traditional make-believe story that there are no Rohingya in the history and that the term “Rohingya” was created in 1951. The delegation did their best to set the record straight.

The Shuar stepped up their efforts to defend their culture and way of life against the impending threat of the 25,000 acre Mirador mining Project. They initiated a legal action alongside Environmental and human rights using Articles 71-73 on Rights of Nature in the Ecuadorian Constitution. In their case, the plaintiffs have asked the courts to stop the Mirador Project using the precautionary principle. If the project is allowed to go ahead, it would have a severe impact on the Shuar’s culture, their sacred sites, and the very water and land they depend on.

Traditional owners in Arnhem Land, Australia, issued a petition to Darwin and Canberra calling on the Northern Territory and Federal governments not to allow their country to be fracked. More than 80 per cent of the Northern Territory is now under application for the unconventional oil and gas exploration, including most of Arnhem Land. As a public demonstration, Traditional owners also burnt a letter from Paltar Petroleum who was responding to their objections. As they burnt the document the men called out in unison: “Paltar this is what you wrote to us, and we say no!”

The Enxet community of Sawhoyamaxa announced their return to their ancestral lands which they were expelled from more than 20 years ago. Since the forced eviction was carried out, the community has been living along the side of a road, right next to the land they were removed from. Seven years ago, the community won a favourable ruling at the Interamerican Court of Human Rights; however, the Paraguyan government has thus far refused to act on it, leaving the community to roam around like cattle. No longer. The community resolved to occupy their lands in the hopes of compelling the government to do the right thing. As a part of the effort, Sawhoyamaxa called on call to all indigenous brothers and sisters to express solidarity with their struggle.

The Mathias Colomb Cree Nation (MCCN) was taken to court by Hudson Bay Mining and Smelting (Hudbay) after some first nation citizens gathered for a second time at the entrance to the company’s gold, zinc and copper mine. The peaceful effort was aimed at drawing attention to the fact that neither HudBay or the Manitoba government obtained consent before going ahead with development. The company is suing MCCN for millions of dollars in alleged ‘damages’.

Visit Intercontinental Cry to read about these issues and many others.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

land confiscation 2013 style

They are still confiscating Māori land and still pretending to consult with Māori when they have already made up their minds. They are still in the mindset that deliberately marginalises Māori and treats tangata whenua with disrespect. Who are they? In this instance the NZ Transport Authority and through them the Government.
Hapu representatives from Ngati Hurungaterangi, Te Roro-o-te-Rangi and Ngati Uenukukopako, as well as various whanau and land trusts, met with NZTA and their consultants Opus International.
Harry Wilson, one of the NZTA Directors stood to make the announcement that the Eastern Arterial Route (EAR) option had been selected for development along the eastern lake side of Rotorua.
They couldn't care less about the people and their wishes
Spokesperson for the 3 affected hapu, Hera Naera, responded to the shock announcement.  ”We are disappointed with your decision as it will cut our whānau off from their lands.
This decision will decimate traditional wāhi tapu and disconnect whānau from their papakainga along the Owhata, Ngapuna areas.
Consultation? I don't think so, they have not listened to the wishes of the people - they couldn't care less about the people and that is their shame and this country's shame.
A new formal process had now been initiated according to the Resource Management Act (RMA), that a alteration to the designation process under the RMA would be started and that all affected parties would now be notified by email.
Mr Wilson continued by saying that NZTA and Opus would be meeting with the Rotorua District Council at 11am today to formally make their announcement.
The response of whānau and hapu members was to all walk out of the meeting showing their strong solidarity and rejection of the decision. This land confiscation is what tangata whenua are fighting against and the fight is the same fight that previous generations have fought.

A road is not more important than the wishes of tangata whenua and the decision makers will find that out the hard way I hope.


just change the nothing names

The renaming of the islands of this country by the europeans has always bugged me. South Island and North Island - it doesn't get blander than that. News that the indigenous names are being considered is good because they mean something, they have context. It is a great irony that I live in Golden Bay, europeans have called this bay Murderers Bay, Blind Bay, Massacre Bay, Coal Bay and then Golden Bay - the Māori name is Mohua which is a golden headed endemic bird on the back of the NZ $100 note. They didn't need and didn't have the authority to change the names - they should have just used the names that were here when they arrived but that's colonisation for you.

The shocker about the 'North' and "South' Islands is that those names were never official in the first place as the NZGB says

NZGB Chair Dr Don Grant says the move follows the receipt of a proposal to change the name ‘South Island’ to its original Māori name ‘Te Waipounamu’ and to consider the original Māori name of the North Island at the same time.
“At that time we noted that the existing English names were recorded names, rather than official names. They appeared on LINZ’s maps, charts and other official publications but had never been formalised under the NZGB Act.
So we go to a consultation process and the outcome of that will be a compromise of
meaning that either the English name or the Māori name, or both names together could be used as official.
FFS just change the names into ‘Te Ika-a-Māui’ (for the North Island) and ‘Te Waipounamu’ (for the South Island). Who in their right mind is attached to 'North' and 'South' - it is completely bogus and an insult to Māori.