When Shane Jones Doesn’t Go Far Enough … There’s Always Hannah Tamaki

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It is often said that when a politician or other public figure says something disparaging about a particular group, that the weight and impact of their words is not only in what they’ve said … but also what further statements, what further actions it tacitly allows, invites, and encourages.

Yesterday’s press release from Vision NZ, and accompanying remarks from Hannah Tamaki, are a case in point. Coming hot on the heels of Jones’ own headline-chasing invective toward the Indian community, we have these guys putting out comments about prohibiting the construction of any new Mandirs, Mosques, etc. and insisting that there’s only “room in our society” for one faith, culture, and set of customs here in New Zealand.

Where does that leave you if you’re not part of (or, at least, not only part of) our now apparently unitary “[culture], faith [and] customs”? I’m not entirely sure. Vision NZ don’t seem to be too clear as to what they want done with anybody who *doesn’t* want to “integrate” – and, assumedly, convert, given the rather pointed highlighting of “faith” as something we’re not going to be allowed more than one of in this country.

Now to be sure, however personally annoyed I might be about it, what Tamaki/Vision NZ have done here is arguably at the lower end of the spectrum in terms of its actual, tangible impact. A press release and a poor interview are not a brick through the window of a religious building; and with Vision NZ unlikely to get any closer to the actual levers of political power in 2020 than a really, really far away thing … it is also a rather remote possibility that what’s been said by said party will ever *itself* turn into anything more substantive than just that. Words.

Which is rather ironic, as that’s exactly what Hannah Tamaki was castigating Shane Jones for in her press release and accompanying verbiage – that all his comments amounted to were words were little prospect of actual follow-through and serious action behind them.

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But that is not the point. Well, except insofar as these surely ETS-regulated for methane content outbursts tell us something about the nature, the character, the values, of these greasy-pole dancers jostling for our psephological attentions through the media.

What is, is observing the way in which Jones’ initial volleys and ensuing escalation, have set the tone and helped to prepare the ground for Tamaki’s more recent and markedly less subtle “contribution”. [It is an open question as to whether the ensuing lack of subtlety in Tamaki’s remix of Jones’ careful leitmotif here, says more about the utterer, or merely its intended recipients]

Jones Spake, and what Jones had implied, or communicated subliminally … others have now picked up upon, amplified, and projected out damn near superliminally. Because that’s how politics, as with most areas of interpersonal affairs in large-scale networks, tends to occur – a smaller, but more forceful move at one end, generates ripples or waves which soon turn into larger, yet less finesseful currents. Occasionally, as Goethe observed, burning *well* out of any control or scope of intended design of their first initiator.

Thanks, in part, to several prominent media outlets running headline pieces on Tamaki’s ‘proposal’, this pattern of ‘broadening’ of the sentiment in question is likely to continue for awhile yet – both about our politics, and beyond. Although what this probably means in practice is more on the order of an uptick in Talkback callers and Letters To The Editor picking up and advocating the concepts in question.

Were this America, I would perhaps be a little concerned about what’s known as the ‘Overton Window’ [the general envelope of ‘acceptable’ opinion within a mainstream political sphere] shifting out in this proffered direction as a rather directly attributable result; perhaps bringing Australian-style “One Nation” antics [that’s Pauline Hanson, not Benjamin Disraeli] to our shores. [Or, for that matter, enabling something like the ongoing situation of one of the candidates for the Democratic Presidential nomination – Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard – who seems to face recurrent attacks on the basis of her (Hindu) religion every time she runs, including attempts to have her declared ineligible for office due to spurious something something Hinduism incompatible with the Constitution of the United States and its values something something. Charges not entirely dissimilar to those once levied at John F. Kennedy for his Catholicism, as it happens]

But despite Jones’ flirtations with wearing a deliberately Trump-style “Put New Zealand First Again” cap during the past Electoral season, and the Tamakis’ own demonstrable enthusiasm for a quite literally American brand of Christianity with occasional GoP characteristics … we are not there.

Which means that I have the considerable luxury, in a way, of simply being infuriated by what’s contained within Tamaki’s remarks, rather than seriously apprehensive that I might find my local Mandir’s been vandalized or a Pandit beaten up in the street, deported for being .. well ..  a Priest, etc.

Now, it is at this point that I should perhaps take a moment to overtly address my own biases in all of this. Which is something I somewhat doubt Tamaki has actually done, even to herself, upon this matter.

I am one of this country’s more than one hundred and twenty thousand Hindus. And, while I like to think that I do a rather better job of putting the “fun” back in “religious fundamentalist” than Tamaki does, I’m nevertheless capable of recognizing that the degree to which this decree has a personal saliency for me, means that I’ve responded to it rather differently than if it were a more … abstract issue, from my immediate perspective.

Which doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t be distinctly unimpressed about what ‘Vision NZ’ have put forward here, if it were ‘just’ about Mosques & Muslims, Gurudwaras & Sikhs, or even, for that matter, Synagogues & Jews [oddly, they seem to have skipped a mention in Tamaki’s list of Forbidden Architecture]. Hell, I’d probably even be annoyed if some pair of coverage-coveting politicians had sought to suggest banning Destiny Church – whether from constructing new facilities, or just all up and altogether, for the foreseeable future – as a pathway towards the cheap fifteen minutes of “most read story” status, and maybe a few votes down the line into the bargain.

Because, in no small part, even though most of the rest of the ninety seven odd percent of the country’s religious (or irreligious, for that matter, for almost half) values are not mine, that doesn’t mean I now start thinking of everybody else, all of these, as being “foreign” and having no “place” in our country nor society. You may as well start going around banning various political parties you’re not totally in agreement with, because they, too, are in some ways extraneous and ‘alien’ to your own, personal, ‘reality’-tunnel world view. It’s not how a healthy, stable, functional society tends to work – and does rather irrepressible harm to the actual fabric thereof through the manner of its enforcement.

I doubt Hannah Tamaki is thinking of having a localized version of the Spanish Inquisition (or, perhaps more darkly, its Portuguese equivalent in Goa) in order to enforce the “integrations” of “faith” she’s calling for – not least because I doubt she’s thinking much at all. In terms of the actual detail of policy, I mean [although last month’s press release from Tamaki demanding that Jacinda Ardern attempt to *ban* gay conversion therapy … I am not making this up … somewhat suggests that it’s not only the realms of actual policy-detail and practical application wherein “Vision NZ thinking” is a bit oxymoronic] .

But straight-up. My insta-reaction to reading Tamaki’s statements upon this matter, was to basically feel that they were almost tantamount to a declaration of war. Or, at least, would be, if anybody much were likely to take them too terribly seriously – or, perhaps flowing directly from that, if Tamaki was actually likely to be in a position to put them into tangible effect a little further down the line.

It certainly went rather beyond Jones’ comments which effectively kicked the whole thing off, at any rate.

Now, once we situate Tamaki’s offensive as what it is – both an echoing and a direct continuation, amplification, of Jones’ campaign … the serious question becomes whether the whole thing’s begun to fizzle out, or whether it’ll continue to spread and lose yet further ‘nuance’ in the process. I’d already observed a shift in the framing even before yesterday’s occurrence, from people writing and speaking about “Arranged Marriage” to “Indian Marriage”, for instance – and it is not too terribly far from there to the implication, as Tamaki appears to have picked up upon, that it is not the “arranged” part of that concept which is the issue, but rather some generalized concept of “Indian”.

It’s tempting to simply close off by tapping out that despite all of that, this is New Zealand. And that therefore, beyond the perhaps predictable uptick in “s/he’s just saying what we’re all thinking!” attempted-letters to the editor and calls in to talkback radio from people with nothing better to do than try garbing themselves in the voluminous folds of the cloak of false moral majority … nothing much shall happen. Not in the broad sense, anyway. Maybe a few people get hassled in person by sorts who’d quite likely be favourably disposed towards doing so anyway, regardless of what some Government Minister, or er .. minister’s wife attempting to Government … had to say about an issue.

But without intending to be overdramatic about it, following certain events earlier in the year, I’m not entirely sure that that state of affairs is as ‘guaranteed’ here as it seemingly once was. It is not inconceivable that somebody out there, in whichever sphere, may seek to make some mileage out of picking up and pushing further, the ball which first Jones and then Tamaki have sought to set into (political) motion.

One thing I think I can state with greater confidence, however, is that while it is something of an open question as to whether one or even both of those two figures aforementioned shall still be percolating about our nation’s political punch-bowl by this time a few years’ hence …  there are almost certain to still be Mandir Shikharas rising above various sites here. Whatever Talkback or Tamaki might have to say about it.

Because political opponents come and go.

We Endure.

29 COMMENTS

  1. “It is often said that when a politician or other public figure says something disparaging about a particular group…”

    Hang on, isn’t that becoming the norm slag off identity groups by politicians and ‘leaders’…

    “OK Boomer”, Chloe Swarbrick

    Māori should work on helping themselves get out of poverty rather than worrying about a small number of refugees.

    “We are chucking money in a leaky bucket or in a bottomless pit,” “Never mind how much you dump in there it still won’t be enough unless people stand up by themselves and go and start fixing things for themselves or looking after themselves.” Pushpa Prasad (Multicultural Council of Rangitikei and Wanganui president). https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/395707/focus-on-housing-squeeze-not-refugees-whanganui-mayor

    “the SH20 Waterview Connection could divert criminals from South Auckland away from the electorate” Melissa Lee

    “old white men in their 60s” Genter

    “Delete yourself Bro” Marama Davidson

    I’m really sold by this ‘kinder”, “brighter feature”… sarc.

  2. “…make some mileage out of picking up and pushing further, the ball which first Jones and then Tamaki have sought to set into (political) motion.” I suggest that this in fact is what is happening now, as Hannah’s sentiment has been circulating, certainly on the far right for several years.

    Close whanau of a right wing anti-Muslim commentator whom I think slightly deranged, expressed both anger and indignation to me, that the Muslim community in ChCh had their own mosque, at least five years ago.

    At the time I was too gob-smacked to reply adequately, and mentally filed it as parochialism from a sociopath living secluded in the countryside, barely setting foot in the workplace, or out of NZ.

    If Hannah’s appalling comment is specifically anti-Indian – God forbid – then it may have had its “respectable” antecedent in Simon Bridges telling Jami-Lee Ross that two Indians were worth one Chinese – which it was assumed was based on how much they’ll pay for political favours.

    Shane Jones, unfortunately, knows exactly what he’s doing every times he opens his mouth.

    Hannah’s referencing Clark’s childlessness in her pernicious little comment about crabs under rocks, may be a direct steal from Nelson’s Amy Brooke who has both written and blogged about it, I think obsessively; I’m astonished if Hannah’s puppeteer is now picking up on that too, but it does have a certain vogue with fundamentalist Catholics – and I daresay others- obliged by their God to breed.

    I do think that NZ’s Indian community is too well liked, and too much part of the social community for Hannah to impact negatively upon it, but heaven only knows what Jones is up to; if Hannah’s ‘inclusiveness’ is meant to imply that Brian and her’s is the only acceptable form of religion in NZ, then that is too awful to contemplate, as are her current sentiments.

    • Hanna whether we agree with her or not is entitled to her opinion unlike Massey University staff they a had a plaster put over their mouths with their new communications policy

  3. yes Save NZ I called the Multicultural Council and lodged a complaint against Pushpa why ? because if you read this organisations objectives she is basically pooing all over on them. Also her husband who also works for this group was standing for the local Whanganui council and so she (pushpa) was probably trying to get some votes. But you can see why many people including Maori people don’t want these people here they can turn when there is something in it for them. Melissa Lee a Chinese women not from here but quick to put the boot into the poor brown people born here. We don’t need her type either.

    • Michelle, Yes, Hannah has freedom of speech, although using it to scapegoat or demonise people who are different on religious grounds, is bad news. Hitler did it well, and the terrible repercussions were felt all over Europe – and still are today – including in the tragic Middle East.

      Pushpa, unfortunately, also has freedom of speech, but I thought her comments utterly appalling. As a NZ’er, I was also profoundly irritated about an outsider (if she is one) casting aspersions on the tangata whenua, and broadly speaking I agree with Ken Mair’s sentiments on this issue, which has been clumsily handled if it has ended up as an either or situation, as it appears to be. Pushpa still should not have been judgmental, as she was.

      Melissa Lee isn’t Chinese, she’s a NZ’er born in Sth Korea, and her comments were plain dumb, perhaps because she is. Sth Koreans are generally rather nice people, but I thought her a little shocker.

      Ditto John Key’s family coming to this country from the UK ,he remaining blithely ignorant of our history, and then having the nerve to try and change our flag – and lying whenever it suited him.

      Indians shouldn’t have to ‘harden up,’ everyone here is entitled to be treated courteously, but those who come here, should also behave themselves – and if Pushpa’s inflammatory comments were aimed at getting votes, then she’s just as bad as Hannah is in how she’s going about things.

      • Pushpa was trying to get votes for her husband who was standing for council and hopefully she got the sack. Yes everyone is entitled to be treated with respect it should be a two way thing but not in our country nah! Pushpa is only one example know doubt there are many others.

      • So Pushpa isn’t racist, just judgemental, Lee isn’t racist she’s dumb (agree with Key comments) and Indian’s should be entitled to visa changes and red carpet for arranged marriages…

      • Snow White: “…Hannah has freedom of speech…”

        That she does. And the point of free speech is to express one’s opinions, without fear of retaliation, censorship or legal sanction. Free speech often entails offending other people. that’s the way the concept works.

        I’ve heard views similar to those of Hannah Tamaki and Shane Jones aired by a number of people, Maori included. Seen anti-immigrant sentiments in the comment threads on this blogsite, even.

        Anent the Nazi regime, it was what they did to Jews, rather than what was said of them, that did the most damage. With regard to the Jews, the Nazis operated a racist governmental and regulatory system.

        “As a NZ’er, I was also profoundly irritated about an outsider (if she is one) casting aspersions on the tangata whenua, and broadly speaking I agree with Ken Mair’s sentiments on this issue….”

        I have heard some of the detail about the events that prompted those remarks from Pushpa Prasad. All is not necssarily what it seems. Her comments came as a result of a meeting having been disrupted by Mair and somebody whose name escapes me. I heard that Mair was very hostile and intimidating; his barging into the meeting caused a good deal of upset on the part of the participants.

        I believe that various people have tried to pour oil on troubled waters in Wanganui, but there’s a residual feeling of – anger, I guess. I understand that there isn’t an enormous amount of sympathy, at least among a proportion of the population, for Mair and his views. It would be fair to say that Prasad’s comments hit a nerve for some.

        Just after the war, a considerable number of refugees were resettled in Wanganui. These people arrived with absolutely nothing except a suitcase of clothing, and were obliged to rebuild their lives, while dealing with war trauma, facing language difficulties and extreme prejudice from many of the locals. Many people there haven’t forgotten that these refugees made something of themselves, and for themselves, despite the most extreme social circumstances and poverty. If they could do it, the thinking goes, why couldn’t Maori – who were at that time mostly in a better economic place – do the same?

        So there is scepticism about the Maori-first mantra of people such as Mair; that’s what Prasad was expressing. As well, I got the impression that she was very angry about how things had turned out, and understandably.

        While I don’t know him personally, I’ve known of Mair for many many years. Nowadays, my impression of him is that he’s much more hardline – hostile even – than he used to be. It’s not helpful in the current environment.

        • D’Esterre Ok. I accept what you say here. My recollections of Ken Mair are of a rude man – not the brain or charisma of stroppy Hone Harawira, or the timeless courtesy kindness and intellectualism of the Ngapuhi Rankin family – one of best – I think – in Maoridom. Among the nicest people I’ve been lucky to know. And that’s another story of goodness.

          I gather Mair wants separate iwi representation on immigration. I disagree. The country could get quilted with a patchwork of too many committees.

          Stories of European immigrants and their contribution to NZ are bitter-sweet, and too often muted.

          I know an old 1956 Hungarian revolutionary, who helped rescue Cardinal Mindszentsy, probably October 56, and escaped, jumping out a window pregnant into the snow, when the Russians came the next month, I think. She’s talked of the hard time she had here, with her strong accent, and has returned home seven times – but many never feel that they belong anywhere.

          They started various niche industries, and worked hard, as did many of the Celtic lot, because they had no other options; none I know have had the chips on their shoulders carried by those whose histories may pale in comparison.

          So it is a shame when issues become polarised.

          • Snow White: “I gather Mair wants separate iwi representation on immigration. I disagree.”

            As do I. In fact, I believe that – like many Maori – he wants services by-Maori for-Maori. This is segregation, whether or not this is understood by those promoting such a concept. Write it into legislation, and it’s apartheid.

            I thoroughly disapprove of this, and I’m very unhappy that it would be introduced into my country. Back in our youth, my generation fought against segregation in polities such as south Africa and the US. The very last thing we need here is a return to such practices, no matter how well-intentioned the promoters may be.

            “Stories of European immigrants and their contribution to NZ are bitter-sweet, and too often muted.”

            Sadly, yes. It’s a complex history and political situation from which they came: not always obvious where the good and the bad lie, either. In truth, there’s often good and bad on both sides.

            This is one of the many reasons why I’ve changed my mind about the whole Treaty thing, and the well-meaning push to teach our history; whatever the hell that is.

            It may seem counter-intuitive, but I’ve come around to the view that we’d all – Maori included – be better to accept that what happened here – good and bad – in the 19th century wasn’t the responsibility of any of us now alive. We cannot fix any of it, so we have no choice but to look ahead and construct a society which makes room for all of us.

            We have extended family in central Europe; we all know the awfulness that happened there during the last war. But nobody now alive did any of that; as in NZ, nobody there can fix what was done.

            So: a family member there abides by the don’t-look-back philosophy. Not in the avert-your-eyes sense, but in the what-good-would-it-do? sense. I’ve come to understand the value of that approach; I think that we here would do well to take the same approach.

            With regard to Mair, I proffer this observation: listening to him over many years, I’ve formed the impression that he’s never forgiven Gilbert Mair – a pakeha! – for being his ancestor. I wouldn’t be surprised if he indignantly denied it, but nevertheless, there it is. It’s how he comes across.

            • D’Esterre “He’s never forgiven Gilbert Mair – a pakeha! – for being his ancestor. I wouldn’t be surprised if he indignantly denied it..” One of Jonathan Hatfield’s – aka Hone Harawira’s- Nga Puhi whanau, recently made a parallel comment about Hone not coming to terms with his Pakeha ancestry. I’m sorry if Hone didn’t like his granddad, but that is not our fault.He should see a counselor about it.

              The Treaty is a different matter altogether, and is a legally binding contract, entered into in good faith – or an approximation of – by most signatories. I think there were actually three copies; I studied it at one stage, and some of the early case law, and still have some of the literature.

              The issues have been, and are, addressed by lawyers, and political and social philosophers, as well as the Waitangi Tribunal, Parliament, the Courts, the NZ Maori Council.

              Similarly, the Nuremberg Trials, and the work of eg Simon Wiesenthal, have pursued Nazi war criminals, and called them to account for the evil that they perpetrated, and some still alive were rightly punished for their horrific crimes.

              Similarly I have supported the NZDF being called to account for what the SAS did in Afghanistan. Similarly, USA crimes inflicted upon the Vietnamese, have been sentenced in courts of law.

              Because something happened a long time ago, doesn’t make it right, it simply makes it easier to ignore.

              I have no problem with compensation being made for historical wrongs insofar as is possible.

              The difficulty some of us have is being blamed wholesale for the effects of colonisation, and with Maori ignoring the fact that they were also pretty adept at swiping land from each other – I have lent my only book with any documentation of that – so I may not ever see it again.

              Ideally, we should have been socking the British Crown for much of this, but that’s no longer possible either – they left rat tracks galore.

              • Snow White: “One of Jonathan Hatfield’s – aka Hone Harawira’s- Nga Puhi whanau, recently made a parallel comment about Hone not coming to terms with his Pakeha ancestry.”

                This is the problem with the sort of ethnic chauvinism – ethno-nationalism even – that we’re seeing here among some Maori. There has been so much intermarriage here, that attempting to assert purity of bloodline is archaic and futile. Not to mention potentially dangerous.

                This stuff is not too dissimilar to what plagued Nazi Germany and Europe generally in the last war. Fascism is another name for it. Remember what Amin did to the Indians in Uganda all those years ago. In truth, there’s still a bit of it about in various parts of Europe.

                We’ve all seen the awful depths to which this sort of thing can drag humans; we surely don’t want to go down that path.

                In any event: I’d been aware of Harawira’s pakeha ancestry, but I hadn’t known much about it. So I went a-googling, as I am wont to do. I found this, and it made me laugh uproariously. You may have already seen it – it’s been around a while – but in case you haven’t:

                http://www.stuff.co.nz/southland-times/opinion/3049958/Apology-to-Hone-Harawira

                “The Treaty is a different matter altogether, and is a legally binding contract, entered into in good faith – or an approximation of – by most signatories.”

                That’s as I’ve understood it, how I’ve thought of it the past 50+ years.

                However. In recent times, given the fundamental and irreversible changes in NZ society, especially since the 1980s, I’m more inclined to take Elizabeth Rata’s view. I’m no longer sure how it could be binding, and in what ways. The Magna Carta it isn’t.

                At least some contemporary Maori appear to believe that it means that they can construct a parallel society, with their own laws, institutions and processes. Last I looked, that’s exactly what apartheid was, and my generation fought against that. I’d have hoped that we were far past that sort of wrongheaded idea.

                As I recall, there was no mention of “principles” until they were written into law, I think by Geoff Palmer. And I’ve spent a lot of years since, listening to politicians attempting (and usually failing) to articulate them. It’s not a good idea to attribute post facto meanings or intentions that weren’t expressly included in the original document.

                “Because something happened a long time ago, doesn’t make it right, it simply makes it easier to ignore.”

                It depends how long ago that something happened. If there isn’t the least chance of holding the responsible to account, there’s no point in trying to punish subsequent generations for the crimes or sins of previous generations.

                This may seem unjust to Maori, but I doubt that any of them would wish to pay reparations for the crimes of Maori who killed and enslaved each other during the Musket Wars, for example. Or for the dreadful atrocities committed against the Moriori in the Chatham Islands.

                “….and some still alive were rightly punished for their horrific crimes.”

                In recent times, the Nazi-hunters have been reduced to arresting very small fish: people who were camp guards near war’s end, and still teenagers. Scarcely the people responsible for carrying out the worst atrocities, many of whom escaped or were given asylum by the Allied countries.

                As a matter of interest, there was a cohort of refugees who came here (I went to school with some of their offspring) and had been, almost to a person, collaborators with the Nazis and enthusiastic participants in the rounding up of their societies’ Jews for slaughter. At war’s end, they fled the richly-deserved retribution they feared was coming their way. Our government accepted them because they were a) classed as refugees and b) white. Evidently, their background wasn’t investigated, or not very closely. The Wiesenthal people eventually came here looking for them, but by then pretty much all of that generation had died. And what would be the point of pursuing the children?

                “Ideally, we should have been socking the British Crown for much of this…”

                Indeed. The arrow of responsibility points to the British elites: my ancestors were as much their victims as were the indigenes of the Empire, unfortunately. But no reparations for us, are there!

                Some things are better left alone. We need to do as my European family members do: look forward.

    • @Michelle
      Good on you for lodging a complaint but maybe it should be with the race relations.

      Nothing from government or MSM condemning the comments from a representative of the so called multicultural council!

      What happened with your complaint? Probably nothing if it is anything like Hone Hawawira’s experience of the race relations when they couldn’t spell his name to take the complaint. https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2019/03/06/guest-blog-hone-harawira-the-useless-race-relations-office/

      Would have thought that we would have got a Maori race relations commissioner at long last, but after a year without a race relations commissioner, (Colin Henry, a Jamaica-born Aucklander and applicant for the job, claimed the process was unlawful).

      I’m not the only one surprised by the choice of a COL government that spent all election wooing Maori and with so many Maori MP’s https://www.newsroom.co.nz/2019/07/11/677968/non-mori-race-relations-commissioner-missed-opportunity https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/395707/focus-on-housing-squeeze-not-refugees-whanganui-mayor

      Government priorities!

      Race Relations Commissioner Meng Foon ‘relieved’ National’s ‘racist’ refugee policy dumped
      https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2019/10/race-relations-commissioner-meng-foon-relieved-national-s-racist-refugee-policy-dumped.html

      Government brings back visas for parents, but raises income requirements
      https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12274084

      Government backflips on arranged marriage visas
      https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2019/11/government-backflips-on-arranged-marriage-visa.html

      Ok more arranged marriages coming here, more aged migrant parents and more refugees from Africa and Middle East with no family connections in NZ so I guess the irony is lost with Pushpa Prasad’s statement…

      “We are chucking money in a leaky bucket or in a bottomless pit”

      I guess she and the government are prioritising more money chucked into multicultural councils own leaky bucket’s interests, then, not Maori!

      • savenz – You forgot period poverty which is a really big league priority, and visionary, and as sexist as hell because it is discrimination-by-deprivation against men, transgender women, post-menopausal women, and women in those alphabetical groups who hate all the rest of us, plus it is environmentally quite hostile, and myopic.

        The Celtic women ( et les autres) among our forbears used close-at-hand products like gentle mosses and sea sponge, but oh no, today’s lot want manufactured products to enrich usually USA businesses – but probably now Chinese – and if this is our nuclear moment ( yup -another one) then non-menstruating persons should be equally financially compensated, or there may be no-one willing to march in next year’s Auckland Parade, and they could all have to be bused down to walk over Wellington’s rainbow pedestrian crossings (yes! true!) and back again, and busloads of people are a nuisance and too noisey.

        Feathers could be useful, but my research is at a very preliminary stage, but I know that sea sponges are freely available off the south coast because I found one which would have cost $14 – at one of those noisey chain pharmacies – without GST. Nothing political is ever straightforward, did you know ?

      • Savenz: “Good on you for lodging a complaint but maybe it should be with the race relations.”

        I disagree. Prasad was within her rights to give her opinion, without people jumping all over her for it and attempting to silence her by flinging about the racism epithet.

        “Would have thought that we would have got a Maori race relations commissioner at long last…”

        Hiwi Tauroa, Race Relations Conciliator 1980-1986. He was preceded by Harry Dansey. They were both excellent at their job, as I recall.

        Tauroa edged out Pita Sharples for the position, I believe.

  4. Hanna is probably saying what many other NZers think but they don’t want to say it through fear of being called a racist. I didn’t see many people sticking up for Maori when bob the knob jones was Maori bashing so what are the Indians moaning about harden up and move on

  5. OBJECTIVES of the Rangitikei/Whanganui Multicultural society
    To promote an understanding and preserve the ethnic customs, languages, religions, sports and cultures and to share them with the community of Rangitikei / Whanganui
    To support the rights of the ethnic individuals or groups to enjoy equal opportunities, to receive equal protection under the law, and to have equitable access to community resources.
    To provide a forum for the ethnic groups to share experiences and friendships and to enable ethnic groups to speak with one voice on matters of common concern.
    To raise consciousness among ethnic groups regarding the special status of Maori as the “Tangata whenua” (people of the land) under the Treaty of Waitangi.
    To provide assistance and orientation for those who are newcomers to the community and share each others’ company.

  6. (Multicultural Council of Rangitikei and Whanganui -objective – • To raise consciousness among ethnic groups regarding the special status of Maori as the “Tangata whenua” (people of the land) under the Treaty of Waitangi. Now was Pushpa doing this when she came out and made that derogatory statement , I don’t think so.

  7. Multicultural Council of Rangitikei and Whanganui -objective •To raise consciousness among ethnic groups regarding the special status of Maori as the “Tangata whenua” (people of the land) under the Treaty of Waitangi. Now was Pushpa doing this when she came out and made that derogatory statement , I don’t think so.

    • Maybe Multicultural Council of Rangitikei and Whanganui version of consciousness is “Māori should work on helping themselves get out of poverty’

      So 1.3 billion Indian and 1.3 billion Chinese in the world and Africa set to quadruple it’s population in the next 90 years, less than 1 million indigenous Maori in the world, approx 3 million Pakeha in the world, but apparently the NZ government policy is that that the most populous nationals in the world needs are greater, that fledgling NZ numbers should be supporting the most populous nationals in the world with much stronger economies, and this is considered multiculturalism…

  8. The question will be, how many seats will Vision gain in parliment? because you know the entirety of Destiny’s church will vote for them leaving them room for well over 100,000 votes quite possibly more, the reason why they are openly sharing their idealogy is because A. there is a genuine call for this from some NZers outside of their church and B. due to democracy they can comfortably use their status to further their own goals, you should really be worried about the possibility of Vision and NZ First forming a coalition to hold the seats in parliment. We could very well be facing the other end of the pendulumn due to the “overflow.” of identitarinism/culture and feeding into those feelings in order to gain political power.

    • Destiny Church last try at politics did not go well . In 2005 they got 14000 votes and the church was bigger then. You need to factor in most of their congregation is Maori or Pacific Island would do not vote. They us the race card to get the left and the immegration card to try for the rednecks . Both usless ends of the spectrum

      • And political donations don’t come from throwing money at Bishop Brian’s feet on stage. Because you can rest assured it won’t come from he or his wife’s!

  9. God this is getting ugly.
    Does anyone know if the word ‘stereotyping’ is still in the dictionary?

    BTW, IMHO if anyone thinks Shane Jones is the answer to NZ1’s succession order, they should be careful what they wish for. (Just as Pushpa isn’t the answer to the Multicultural Council)

    • Denny – Those eyebrows are cultural appropriation, and they take hours to do. Half our young checkout operators have them, and they really love it if you comment on them.

      Pearl earrings are the ultimate in cultural appropriation – but I guess my Chinese snail-shell earrings are too.

      And if you knew how much it costs to have your fingernails painted, you could be working it out in terms of lost meals – I think the cheapest is $60 down the mall.

      Hannah may have to iron her hair every second day also, assuming that she does it herself. It is very hard being a modern woman. Some may iron their hair every day.

      • Pip: “Hannah may have to iron her hair every second day also, assuming that she does it herself.”

        Hmm, ironing her hair; wouldn’t that also be cultural appropriation?

        • D’Esterre – Funny you should say that – one of the criticisms of Saint Meghan
          Markle and her preaching at the world, and her playing of race cards – amongst others – is that she does not embrace her own frizzy hair as in her young photos, and has her hair treated to straighten it, and uses extensions and other things about which I cannot keep up to date, as I can’t access the Daily Mail with an ad block on. But she/had has a little bare spot on top which is apparently due to chemicals used in these sorts of procedures.

          Did NZ Maori traditionally iron their hair ? My only Maori woman friend is a bit older than me, and my gut feeling is that if I asked her, she might tell me not to be silly. It’s interesting, because the hair Markle has in her extensions is apparently Asian, usually from poor Indian women who sell their lovely long hair, because they need the money.

          I daresay this is another off-shoot of globalism – or human vanity – or poverty- but not in the same league as desperate Indian men selling their kidneys, because at least hair grows again, which kidneys do not.

          • Pip: “one of the criticisms of Saint Meghan Markle and her preaching at the world, and her playing of race cards – amongst others – is that she does not embrace her own frizzy hair as in her young photos, and has her hair treated to straighten it, and uses extensions and other things…”

            Well, bugger me daze: I hadn’t known any of that. So: she’s fake in that way as well, surprise surprise.

            I’d heard the story about how Prince William cautioned Harry about her, and that this had caused the rift. It’s reported that he questioned how fast things were moving between them. We’ve always thought it more likely that William said something like, “be careful: she’s American. Remember what happened the last time one of our family married one: it didn’t turn out well…”

            I also own to a bit of hilarity with a family member before that baby was born. We speculated that – genetic inheritance being capricious – the child would inherit his maternal grandmother’s skin colour, Harry’s red hair and his parents’ ski jump nose. Now I can add “frizzy hair” to that list! Unkind…but they do seem peculiarly unwilling to take him out in public.

            In fact, were I a UK citizen, I’d be seriously pissed off that they took the child to Africa to show him off. Very odd.

            “Did NZ Maori traditionally iron their hair ?”

            I doubt it. Far too smart to get trapped into that sort of thing.

            “…the hair Markle has in her extensions is apparently Asian…”

            God, really? That sounds like the apotheosis of hypocrisy to me. She wants to save the world and lectures the rest of us on what we should (or shouldn’t) be doing, but will exploit impoverished indian women.

            Definitely fake. Still: at least it isn’t a kidney. Yet…

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