Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: It is your right and duty to vote

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  • Islander,

    One thing that Audrey Young commented on that I do agree with-
    the translation on "Te Karere" of "Ngai Tahu iwi" as "the Ngai Tahu nation." I've never hear heard any Kai Tahu refer to us as a nation - we're a tribe or an iwi. And we have enough trouble with a group of Pakeha - and a few non-Kai Tahu Maori - rabbiting on about "the ancient nation of Waitaha"(Barry Brailsford's idiotic coining) to ever feel like adopting the word.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Is there anything they could have said that wouldn't have occasioned a spray of sexually-themed scorn from you though?

    You seem to be denying them the right to their own argument.

    They're entitled to their own argument -- but if Audrey Young wants to be an enabler of it, let's just be a little bit honest about it. Shall we? She couldn't find a mouthpiece for her concern trolling that doesn't have a very personal grudge against Harawira? And I'm strill struggling to see how frothing about "Hone's flag" adds any value to a debate pitched slightly lower than a dog-whistle.

    Yes, I'm a going to pour scorn on a newspaper that is remarkably feckless about talking up "racial division" -- and stoking anti-immigrant sentiment, come to that -- and expecting a pass because of token concern trolling.

    You're right: The Maori Party doesn't "speak" for all Maori. You do recall which political party I've belonged to and supported my entire adult life, don't you?

    But we're all going to win when Labour really gets over the entitled resentment that the Maori Party even exists; and if they want to earn back Maori support they should be looking at Nanaia Mahuta (who I have enormous respect for -- and, in retrospect, probably perfectly timed her maternity leave) rather than Shane Jones.

    There's a reason why she held her seat last year with an absolute majority of the vote -- she's a genuinely hard-working and capable MP, and just because she's not the loudest or most inflammatory voice in the room doesn't mean she's not worth listening to. Though I've got to wonder whether Robert Mahuta's daughter is too "iwi elite" for a party that seems to be betting on populist rage.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11621 posts Report Reply

  • dc_red,

    @Lucy

    Can anyone think of anything I've missed? If not, I think I'll run with it.

    Seems to me like you're on pretty strong ground.

    There's also the potentially less satisfying route of simply keeping your child home on test day for any of the statutorily-acceptable reasons.

    Oil Patch, Alberta • Since Nov 2006 • 706 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    If non-partisan Maori voices start to ring out that they feel aggrieved by the flying of the Tino Rangatiritanga flag then I'll accept there's division. I'm currently hearing that only from individuals heavily aligned with a party that has recently proven it puts handy media soundbites waaaaaay above principle.

    It's not to say that Maori are happy about it, but I'll put my optimism that a National PM just agreed to fly the TR flag over Premier House over politicial dissent for now.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1712 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    And let's just say that if Helen Clark had decided to fly the TR flag over the bridge without any hui in Maoridom, I believe a few of these voices would be praising her for her biculturalism and recognition of a modern NZ.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1712 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Meanwhile, some reality-based info on that "Maori Party" flag:

    In 1989 a competition was run by a group named Te Kawariki to design a national Māori flag. Most of the entries however, were considered inappropriate because they were designed around a bi-racial rather than a specific Māori theme.

    The only flag that met the criteria of recognising Māori history, expressing a Māori purpose and using a Māori design, was one designed by - Hiraina Marsden, Jan Dobson and Linda Munn. Another member of Te Kawariki, Walter Erstich, gave the explanation to the design.

    After some revision by other members of Te Kawariki, the final version was eventually approved as the winner of the competition and unveiled as the national Māori flag, at Waitangi, on Waitangi Day 1990. It has since become known as the ‘Tino Rangatiratanga’ flag.

    If anyone can point me towards any disquiet from then-Education Minister Goff that this flag was a symbol of divisive radicalism, I'd be most appreciative.

    Meanwhile, if anyone wants to bitch and moan about the Maori Party "politicising" it, then I assume Phil Goff will not appear any where near these "divisive" symbols of colonialism and royal patronage. Very long tradition of both Labour and National using our flag as a campaign tool to denote their dedication to the national interest and general patriotism, and I don't remember being consulted about that.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11621 posts Report Reply

  • Just thinking,

    Russell - It is better that it isn't an official Maori Flag, as mandated by official process, but an expression of partnership (political/governmental) & Mana enhancing.

    To follow Shane Jones logic and raise the 1835 United Tribes is exclusive and not inclusive of all Maori, not to mention problematic when flying on Waitangi Day.

    For contested use and appropriation of flags here's one that I'm sure will raise ire - NSFW -
    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_o5qXRo_gr_0/SujyIgkE09I/AAAAAAAAAEo/PnsGVmRlW7w/s1600-h/Ham+Lads.jpg

    Putaringamotu • Since Apr 2009 • 1139 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    Given that one of the threads of conversation here is about violence (Berlusconi getting it in the moosh, and all that), did anyone watch the BBC doco on violence, fronted by Michael Portillo, on TV One last night?

    I gave up on it after 25 minutes, after too many sweeping generalisations about "Human does this...Humans do that...", with nary a mention of the possibility of gender differences in respect of attitudes to, and the deployment of violent tendencies. It was all males doing violence on screen but Michael didn't seem to notice that.

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2219 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    If non-partisan Maori voices start to ring out that they feel aggrieved by the flying of the Tino Rangatiritanga flag then I'll accept there's division.

    Well, there's this:

    Kingi Taurua, from Waitangi's Te Tii Marae, said the flag was more representative of the Maori Party than Maori in general and would not be allowed to fly at his marae.

    "It's a political symbol that shouldn't be flown from the Harbour Bridge either.

    "Why should their political flag fly from our marae? John Key and his cohorts can fly it anywhere they like but it will never fly at Waitangi."

    And even Tau Henare seems a bit diffident in this story:

    “If he says it’s okay, sweet, he’s the boss,” Mr Henare said.

    However, when pressed on the choice of the newer tino rangatiratanga flag over the older confederations flag, Mr Henare said the former was “new”.

    “I think it’s new. I don’t think it’s as old as the confederation flag. The confederation flag has a lot of history,” Mr Henare said.

    The tino rangitiratanga flag has only been around since 1990, when its designers won a contest. I personally find it aesthetically pleasing, but it has little history and it's quite understandable that some people would object to it being decreed "the Maori flag" by the Prime Minister, especially when it's so prominently used by one political party.

    It should be possible to have that discussion without being accused of something.

    I'm currently hearing that only from individuals heavily aligned with a party that has recently proven it puts handy media soundbites waaaaaay above principle.

    Another way of looking at that is that you're saying they're Maori but their views don't count and cannot be accorded any good faith. Seems a bit patronising.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17977 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    There's a reason why she held her seat last year with an absolute majority of the vote -- she's a genuinely hard-working and capable MP, and just because she's not the loudest or most inflammatory voice in the room doesn't mean she's not worth listening to.

    I think the family name had at least as much to do with it. It'd be a strange day when Tainui turned its back on a Mahuta.

    Though I've got to wonder whether Robert Mahuta's daughter is too "iwi elite" for a party that seems to be betting on populist rage.

    Craig, in the process of slagging off Jones for some relatively measured comments this morning, you've used a stream of inflammatory invective yourself.

    I don't recall such language when your own party was cultivating "populist rage" rather more intensively than Goff did in his stupid speech.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17977 posts Report Reply

  • 81stcolumn,

    @Lucy

    Tolley has declared that opposition to the new regime is based on ideology rather than evidence.

    An interesting point to make given that the act was passed under urgency

    Nawthshaw • Since Nov 2006 • 699 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    It's not to say that Maori are happy about it, but I'll put my optimism that a National PM just agreed to fly the TR flag over Premier House over politicial dissent for now.

    Maybe. Although I'm waiting for the 'LHaws effect.'

    Personally I'd like to see a less divisive debate over the Symbolism of the flag itself, embodied in the notion of Tino Rangatiritanga, from an historical perspective, including the viewpoints of people like Sir Apirana Ngata. Ok so the flag is not historically significant, but the notion is. Without this historical context, IMhO, it is hard to respond 'rationally' to a gathering media storm.

    So yeah, I'm one of those naive people whose initial reaction was 'hey cool, our two flags flying together. That's progress'.

    But we'll have to wait and see.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Andre Alessi,

    And let's just say that if Helen Clark had decided to fly the TR flag over the bridge without any hui in Maoridom, I believe a few of these voices would be praising her for her biculturalism and recognition of a modern NZ.

    As much as I hate to say it, I have to agree. There's an awful lot of a "play this up for the media" vibe to many of the comments reported.

    Then again, I still think it's stupid that the media feels that getting reax from every brown person who's ever been on the news every time anything "Maori-related" occurs is a rational thing to do.

    "Hey, look, the brown folk are arguing amongst themselves again!"

    Edit: Just a point of clarification: I'm using "brown person", etc in the ironic sense of "anyone the media thinks is a suitable spokesperson for all Maori everywhere". I just reread my comment and it could come across as borderline talkback racism without that context.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 838 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I think the family name had at least as much to do with it. It'd be a strange day when Tainui turned its back on a Mahuta.

    It doesn't hurt, but to be entirely fair she doesn't treat being in Parliament as some kind of hereditary fiefdom she's just "entitled" to because of her connections to the Kingitanga. She works damn hard -- she was campaigning days after losing her first child, which I couldn't have done -- but it's not the kind of talkback-ready brown-neckery that gets a lot of MSM attention. Which is a bloody shame, IMO.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11621 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    And let's just say that if Helen Clark had decided to fly the TR flag over the bridge without any hui in Maoridom, I believe a few of these voices would be praising her for her biculturalism and recognition of a modern NZ.

    How about we leave the woman alone and out of this current situation, as it isn't that helpful. How about a thought for it being ok if any political party flies their flag. I think, because the Maori Party chose this flag as it's political insignia, it could be revisited for appropriateness. It kinda feels like it is the Maori Party flag and not a flag representing all Maori, to me. Maybe I is wrong though.(throwing in the out clause so as to not ruffle feathers :)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 5735 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    It kinda feels like it is the Maori Party flag and not a flag representing all Maori, to me. Maybe I is wrong though.(throwing in the out clause so as to not ruffle feathers :)

    OTOH, when THE flag gets used as patriotic bunting in anyone's political (or sporting) campaign, my blood runs cold. Patriotism being the last refuge of the scoundrel etc.

    While I'm sure it's an entirely sincere feeling on the part of many -- since, once more time, Maori aren't Te fraking Borg Collective on any subject, any more that youse whitefellas are :) -- but there's some who I sincerely think aren't trotting out that line in good faith at all.

    But whatever... I've got house guests tonight and have to bugger off and do some housework, so I'll bow out on a positive note.

    Key is sure churning up the sewer a treat, and that's not a bad thing.

    A few (relatively) mild examples:

    Neville Key has surrendered to the Maori Party. He has to strike a deal with the racists in order to pass the ETS and this is part of price the racists have exacted.

    Where can I get a shotgun in a hurry?

    I always think of it as the Hone Harawira flag. I see him driving about West Auckland with half a dozen flags hanging out the windows of his panel van. Like it or not I can only think of an angry man when I see it.

    With enemies like that, who needs friends. AFAIC, Phil can have them and try getting troll crap out of the carpet.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11621 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Then again, I still think it's stupid that the media feels that getting reax from every brown person who's ever been on the news every time anything "Maori-related" occurs is a rational thing to do.

    I really disagree. I think it's elevant to ask a spokesman for Te Tii marae about a flag for Waitangi Day, even if his answer involves a good deal of spluttering. Ditto for Maori MPs in parties other than the Maori Party, including the Prime Minister's own party.

    Why on earth should they not have a say? The Maori Party are not the only spokespeople for Maori interests.

    "Hey, look, the brown folk are arguing amongst themselves again!"

    Oddly enough, I've long felt I'd like more in the news about iwi politics, conflict and all. It's such an important part of the cultural and political makeup of the country, but we learn so little about it from the news media.

    Why isn't someone telling me why Kingi Taurua and Hone Harawira are so offside with each other, for example? What's the background? What's behind Tau Henare's diffidence?

    And I would note that I've been wary about the flag on the bridge on other occasions when t's come up, on the same basis: who and what does the flag represent? Has any iwi ever flown the flag on its own account? If it's going to represent a sovereign people, shouldn't there be a bit more constitutional process in saying so?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17977 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    What's behind Tau Henare's diffidence?

    I've heard that Tau is responding well to being part of a caucus as opposed to a spectacularly dysfunctional personality cult. :)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11621 posts Report Reply

  • James W,

    The Maori flag is no more the Maori Party's than the New Zealand flag is Labour's.

    I think it's great. Wasn't it only last year Transit was saying only the NZ flag was allowed to fly from the Harbour Bridge (despite having Scotland's up there at one point)? This is progress!

    Since Jul 2008 • 119 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    Maori aren't Te fraking Borg Collective on any subject, any more that youse whitefellas are :)

    Funny. IMHO re: the flag, it would be preferable to see NZ reach a more visceral union and harmony before the weavers are put to work.

    your taxed dollar • Since Mar 2008 • 1293 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    ... concern trolling... [...] ... concern trolling... [...] ...concern trolling...

    Sailing pretty close to irony today, Craig.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Sailing pretty close to irony today, Craig.

    Damn! You caught me -- I'm really up in arms about Neville Key selling us out to those damn haters and wreckers and their racist demands for a divisive flag. And I'd have gotten away with it too, if it wasn't for you pesky kids and that weird talking dog.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11621 posts Report Reply

  • pollywog,

    i refixed the tino flag a while back. just think the whole red and black thing is a bit nazi and the history of the red and black thing is a bit off too.

    http://img686.imageshack.us/img686/6471/refixedtinoflag.jpg

    that green is suposed to be teal but my screen does funny things to colours so...meh

    somewhere else • Since Dec 2009 • 152 posts Report Reply

  • James W,

    I hope you're joking. Red and black is possibly the best combination of colours ever (go Crusaders). Not to mention red, black and white are all strong Maori colour combinations.

    Simply from a design perspective you can't deny the beauty of the Tino Rangatiratanga flag.

    Since Jul 2008 • 119 posts Report Reply

  • pollywog,

    apprently there was a surrealness and colourfulness to older maori art before the colonials got in there and decided maori art was black and red and curvilinear.

    and nah i think the tino flag looks evil and needed softening so i flipped the script on it:)

    somewhere else • Since Dec 2009 • 152 posts Report Reply

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