Cogito, ergo sum. I think, therefore I am.
(René Descartes, mathematician and philosopher, 1599-1650).

Friday, 5 March 2021

Covid: as we move down levels we should reflect on the patriotism of some in the media (pn676)

While most of the team of 5 million is trying to beat Covid, it seems some in the media continue to abuse free speech  by undermining what we are doing.  Apparently, profit sales and personal back-slapping  are more important to the media giants and their sycofant journalists than people's lives and safety.  The main target, of course, is the government and most particularly Jacinda Ardern.  The doomsters far outdo National and Act's not always balanced criticism.

No one has ever claimed we've had every measure right, Jacinda and Ashley Bloomfield least of all.   It's an ongoing learning situation to which we understandably respond more than we anticipate. We've chosen to go along the elimination route, saving lives at the expense of some economic hardship,  and have been applauded worldwide for our efforts.

Yet this morning's NZ Politics Daily which lists news releases under separate headings, had 9 negative headings out of the 27 items on Covid. 

Typical headings were:  

Tuesday, 2 March 2021

The Inequity of standard traffic fines (pn675)

Yesterday evening's TV1 Highway Cops programme revealed something of the inequity of standard traffic fines which relates to the wider question of treating people the same or truly equally, a topic I've raised several  times before. Take two stories from the programme.  

Friday, 26 February 2021

Sir Michael Somare dead (pn674)

'Statesman of the Pacific' — Jacinda Ardern praises Papua New Guinea's first PM, dead at 84

Former Papua New Guinea prime minister Michael Somare has died in Port Moresby aged 84.

Latest NZ Political Poll (pn673)


The Roy Morgan polls tend to favour Labour and overstate Greens but nothing much seems to have changed. Labour Greens are holding their own and are likely to continue doing so until National sorts out its leadership and policy positions. Or until Labour starts to put some brunt into housing and equality policies,

History in Schools – an opportunity and challenge (pn672)

Click here to read the article and check out the Maxim Institute which I've added to the list of recommended blogs and websites.  See right side bar. 

Tuesday, 23 February 2021

Bring Back the old David Seymour (pn671)

Until recently, I had considerable respect for David Seymour although I'd never voted ACT.  His parliamentary questions raised important issues often overlooked by others, and his persistence on the life choice referendum can only be commended. He made a valuable contribution to parliamentary debate and public information.

Recently, however, his questions have been trite and without purpose other than attention-seeking. There is also a danger they could backfire, making his opponent's argument more credible than his own. This is exactly what happened today when he questioned the PM.  Bring back the old David Seymour.   Click here.

Sunday, 21 February 2021

Nelson Tenths, never heard of it: NZ Company's "agreements" still not fully honoured (pn670)

Rore Stafford with mokopuna
 I know about the Wellington Tenths. They include a gorse-filled  hillside off Aro Street and another hilly area, what was once Athletic Park and is now a rest home, on the way to Island Bay.   And I've recently written about Waiwhetū in Lower Hutt where one kaumātua is still trying to get back some of the land promised (pn687).  I'd also heard of the Palmerston North Tenths, an area west of the Square that was once swamp that was "exchanged (sic.)" for Oriental Bay! 

I also vaguely recall various Te Ata Awa blocks in New Plymouth and Taranaki. ("By 1990 at least ninety percent of the land reserved from the pre-1860 purchases of Te Ati Awa lands was alienated.") but I'd never heard of the Nelson Tenths.   

Thursday, 18 February 2021

Hobson's Pledge and Dr John Robinson should get real: Letters to the Listener (pn669)

Hardly a week  passes without regurgitation. I'm tired of reading Hobson's Pledge's ( "a society in which all citizens have the same rights, irrespective of when we or our ancestors arrived") spurious and misleading claims about us "becoming one people." The Treaty of Waitangi, the Treaty Commission and subsequent legislation are now law. We are one nation, two and more people with shared and dissimilar cultures. Get real! Do not confuse nation with people or sameness with equality. 

The latest  call is by amateur historian Dr John Robinson's letter to the NZ Listener (6 Feb.) "Becoming One People".  With his Maths doctorate he attacks Race Relations Commissioner Meng Foon for being a racist by supporting "a veritable history ...of inherited guilt on one side, with feelings of loss and demands for entitlement on the other ... justify(ing) an ever-widening racial divide; we are no longer one people" (As if we ever were!)

Wednesday, 17 February 2021

Devastating Effect of NZ Covid bans on Cook Islands: Time to reopen? (pn668)


There is no virus in the Cook Islands and virtually no community infections in NZ but NZ and other flight bans has the Cook's 115 hotels and motels mothballed. Barbara Dreaver spells it out. 

NZ needs to do something about this, soon.

There's still a place for the local weekly rag (pn687)

There's still a place for the local weekly rag, despite its advertising overburden. Compared with the dying daily press, mine, Kapi-Mana News,  tackles relatively more serious and controversial issues in a very open manner. 

Last week's issue (9 February) had 3 pages on Our Truth, Tā Tātou Pou with revelations about:

  • Porirua East's state housing. The Housing Corp had written about what to avoid in future state housing — and then built large-scale multi-unit housing contrary to their earlier design principles.

Tuesday, 9 February 2021

Another NZ Trumpist who says he's not a racist (pn866)

Racist slogan sprayed on bulldozer blade in Marlborough neighbourhood.  "ALM. Equal rights for Kiwi Whites"

Read all about it. 

Sunday, 7 February 2021

Dame Patsy Reddy's Waitangi Speech in full, interviews and comments (pn685)

We are not all the same but we can celebrate our differences, knowing that together we are one nation. -- Dame Patsy Reddy, Governor-General of New Zealand

Dame Patsy says Crown  often breached treaty

Dame Pasty praised for "personifying nationhood.

The Governor-General, Dame Patsy Reddy, spoke at a Government House garden reception on Waitangi Day.

She used her Waitangi Day address to reflect on the foundations of our citizenship, the status of the Treaty of Waitangi and the Treaty settlement process.

Her speech in full below

Saturday, 6 February 2021

Trump-like supporters in NZ, Part II: NZ Centre for Political Research, One NZ Party (pn684)

Dr Muriel Newman
     NOTE the new bird, the Tui, next to the title.

Two weeks ago I published the first in this series on Trump-like supporters in NZ, dealing with Don Brash and his Hobson's Pledge. It was a response to an article by Chris Trotter who thought "the number of Trump-supporting New Zealanders is really quite astounding". I thought otherwise.  "I don't find it that astounding. Indeed, if you look beyond and behind the largely lumpen-proletariat who comprise the face of Trump supporters you'll find a much more surprising number of highly educated New Zealanders who support  much of what Trump represents" (pn671). 

 Since then, we have had two instances of overt anti-Māori , and Trump-like,  behaviour, the first by John Banks who referred to today's Māori  "stone age culture"(pn677), the other by Don Brash who, for the moment, seems to have been successful in preventing a Māori  ward in Tauranga  (pn678).   It was refreshing to read other views as part of the Waitangi Day celebrations (pn683). 

Our National Day 2021(pn683)

Read what people have to say about this special day, now and in the future. 

Friday, 5 February 2021

Fiji Government deport USP Vice Chancellor, head of a REGIONAL institution (pn681)

An anonymous (Agent Vinod) post on Facebook: The government did the right thing by deporting USP Vice Chancellor Pal Ahluwalia. Professor Ahluwalia wasted Fijian taxpayers money on an investigation of bogus claims against Professor Rajesh Chandra. Professor Chandra is innocent.
There were 33 serious allegations against Professor Ahluwalia and Fijian government wanted them investigated by an independent investigator, Professor Ahluwalia refused the investigation and the Fijian government withheld the grant of $27 million.
The University of the South Pacific is a regional university owned by its 12 countries members, the Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Samoa. The University has campuses in all member countries. Its main campus is in Suva, Fiji. Australia and NZ, as major financial supporters of the university, have representatives on its administrative body, the University Council

For some time now conflict has existed between Fiji's  pro Vice-Chancellor and Chairman of Council Winston Thompson and the University-council appointed Vice-Chancellor Pal Ahluwahia who has made numerous claims of mismanagement under the previous V-C Prof. Rajesh Chandra.

Yesterday the Fiji Government deported Prof Pal Ahluwahia and his wife on the grounds of   unspecified “repeated breaches” of the immigration act and their visa conditions. 

Whatever the rights or wrongs of the Ahluwahia and Thompson allegations, the Fiji Government had no right to effectively terminate the employment of Pal Ahluwahia. That action is the responsibility of the Council.  It was also the first time mention was made of  Ahluwaha's alleged "repeated breaches" and it is no surprise that several observers think these allegations contrived. 

The action does no credit to the Fiji Government which will lose it many supporters in Fiji, across and beyond the university region.  It is no wonder a suggestion has been made to move the main campus to Samoa. 

As a former senior academic at the University (1974-76 and 1994-99) and an Emeritus Professor, I am appalled by the Government's action. There are far better ways to resolve disputes.

-- ACW



Wednesday, 3 February 2021

Alex Braae in The Bulletin on Maori Wards (pn679)


Māori wards gather momentum 

After the decision from Nanaia Mahuta, councils and iwi around the country have moved quickly

The SpinoffFeb 2CommentShare

Good morning and welcome to The Bulletin for Wednesday 3 February, by Alex Braae for The Spinoff. Presented in partnership with Z Energy.

In today’s edition: Māori wards gather momentum, the managed isolation system is effectively full, and drought on the way again in Hawke’s Bay.

Image: Local government minister Nanaia Mahuta (Getty Images)

In the day since an announcement from local government minister Nanaia Mahuta, the concept of Māori wards has generated both momentum and opposition. In case you missed it, the minister said

Tuesday, 2 February 2021

The Issue of Māori wards: We need not have the tyranny of the majority (pn678)

The tyranny of the majority is an inherent weakness to majority rule in which the majority of an electorate pursues exclusively its own objectives at the expense of those of the minority factions. -- Wikipedia.

For the moment, Don Brash and Hobson's Pledge's  attempt to prevent a dedicated Māori ward in Tauranga seems to have been successful. A referendum will now be held at a cost of $220,000.  In the past 20 years 22 of 24  attempts to establish Māori wards have been overturned.  The majority —Pākehā vote— has not safeguarded the rights of the under-represented minority.  

Friday, 29 January 2021

Stone Age Māori Culture: John Banks says he's not a racist. And why no media mention of International Holocaust Day?(pn677)

If former National and ACT MP John Banks really believes Māori  are "stone age people with a stone age culture" and "genetically predisposed" to crime, alcohol addiction and educational underperformance" as he concurred with a questioner on the Magic Talk Morning programme  on Tuesday, how can he claim he is not a racist, and if he does not believe what he said,  as he now says, why did he say it in the first place?

Others certainly took offence at the remark. MediaWorks' chief executive, Cam Wallace, said there is no place for John Banks at the media company as long as he is boss.