Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Morning in Auckland

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  • Graeme Edgeler,

    I personally am still extremely pissed off that "Pakeha" is no longer in the census, but the NZer term is.

    The term New Zealander was not an option in the ethnicity question at the last census.

    Perhaps I can ask a question a different way in order to generate some light, rather than heat: what is it that you consider makes "Pakeha" an ethnicity?

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3012 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming,

    After 6 generations on this soil, how does some original birthplace of an ancestor I never met have any relevance at all?

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2208 posts Report Reply

  • Martin Lindberg,

    Dude, born in Gay Lynn -- we know what that means...

    Hey! Leave Grey Lynn out of this!

    Stockholm • Since Jul 2009 • 798 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Hey! Leave Grey Lynn out of this!

    Done and done. Grey Lynn is a perfectly charming neighbourhood, but way above my pay grade.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12073 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    Worse has been said by better like what Bob Parker about the Addington Relief centre evictee family.

    Having encountered some of those very people while staying in the then Addington Relief Centre, I'd rate that particular mouthfart pretty far down the list of the many compelling reasons to dump Parker.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 3628 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed,

    After 6 generations on this soil, how does some original birthplace of an ancestor I never met have any relevance at all?

    Paul Henry probably hasn't heard much about Cantonese goldminers in 1860s Otago. I know, since I'm descended from one of them.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4431 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    DeepRed- Otago & the Cantonese immigration were -and are - a happy combination. All those Chinese ANZers who contributed so much, and continue to do so...I am happy to declare the interest of coming from an Oamaru Maori/Scots ANZ family, which brought up it's children properly: all humans are to be treated with respect - as long as they treat you with respect. But the initial 'treat with respect' comes from those here first- manakitaka-

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

  • Carlos,

    The whole point of the census question is about ethnicity, and by allowing the NZer label in that context, the question is made meaningless

    How about all the people who wish to deny my ability to identify my 'ethnicity' as an NZer check out the results of the question from Stats NZ. The Ethnic Groups they report on refer to large numbers of either nation or region based groups that wouldn't meet your strict definition of 'ethnicity' either.
    E.g. American, Australian, Chilean, West Indian, Belgian, Shetland Islander, Taiwanese

    CPH.DK • Since Mar 2009 • 27 posts Report Reply

  • 81stcolumn,

    An ethnic group (or ethnicity) is a group of people whose members identify with each other, through a common heritage, consisting of a common language, a common culture (often including a shared religion) and a tradition of common ancestry (corresponding to a history of endogamy)

    Is Bogan or Westie an ethnicity ?

    How long before Geek or Aspie can be regarded as an ethinicity ?

    There is something about the term and the question that continues to offend me - and not because I have any particular desire to be a "New Zealander". Surely there are btter ways of understanding the needs of groups within a community/nation ?

    Will probably end up apologising for this tomorrow.......

    Nawthshaw • Since Nov 2006 • 732 posts Report Reply

  • TracyMac,

    To Graeme Edgeler, "NZer" was an ethnicity in the 2006 census. I understand there hasn't been another one since?

    As for Pakeha, as far as I'm aware, it's the Maori for a white person - can't get more origins-neutral than that. It doesn't make reference to Europe, which I consider to be fairly irrelevant if you want categorise people in such a way.

    And yes, I like the term for its social implications as well (that I am a European descended person from NZ), but that doesn't detract from it being perfectly suitable for use in a census.

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 499 posts Report Reply

  • TracyMac,

    Actually, @Carlos, things like America, Australia and so on are reported on as nation of origin/immigration sources, rather than ethnicity per se. At least that's my understanding.

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 499 posts Report Reply

  • Carlos,

    Actually @TracyMac you could go to the source .

    What's interesting looking at the table is that a hundred thousand people, who have had no axe to grind in our 'ethnicity' debate, have put themselves down as British, Australian, American, Canadian, Chilean, Argentinean, Belgian, Swiss etc.
    These are not racially or linguistically distinct 'groups'. They appear to find their identity most closely aligned with their nationality. Why are New Zealanders different?

    CPH.DK • Since Mar 2009 • 27 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    Why are New Zealanders different?

    There is something of a difference between defining yourself by your country of origin when overseas (as all those people are) and defining yourself solely by your country of origin when in it.

    Amherst, MA • Since Nov 2006 • 2093 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks,

    The moment Paul Henry has a go at white, rich business men then perhaps I'll believe his excuse about "saying what others are afraid to say."

    It was TVNZ’s spokesperson who said something along those lines, and I consider that early response from TVNZ to be at least as bad as Henry’s comments. It was insidious and vile, and cynically played to the “PC gone mad” audience.

    Key would have had to think on his feet (heaven forfend that our PM be able to do that)...

    As Kyle suggested, not every PM can be expected to be as quick witted and clever in live debate as David Lange. I’m willing to believe that Key was genuinely taken-aback at the time. Henry’s comments were totally out of right field.

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1156 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    what is it that you consider makes "Pakeha" an ethnicity?

    Belonging


    Perhaps we need a bit longer so that it becomes obviously distinctive from the belonging of Maori New Zealanders, Indian New Zealanders, Samoan New Zealanders or Korean New Zealanders.

    Some of us Pakeha New Zealanders see it. How short-sighted or narcissistic must I be to leave off the first bit?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16996 posts Report Reply

  • dc_red,

    @TraceyMac

    "New Zealander" was not listed as an ethnicity in the 2006 census. People who wished to identify as New Zealanders had to write that in by hand.

    Here's a screen capture of the question here.

    As I've noted before the question does not maintain or encourage some pure separation of 'ethnicity' and 'nationality'

    Five of the tick boxes, and one of the other examples, arguably relate to one ethnicity = "Polynesian." These include two nationalities (Samoan, Tongan), and various types of New Zealand citizens (Maori, Cook Island Maori, Niuean, Tokelauan).

    "Dutch" is also listed as an example, suggesting that "European" is more complicated and more diverse than a single ethnicity.

    I've been to Holland and seen it's a pretty diverse place, too. Not everyone is tall, fair-skinned and blue-eyed. What's a person of Eurasian Dutch background, who is a 3rd generation citizen of New Zealand to do?

    What does Tariana Turia do? ;-)

    More generally, I chose in good faith and after quite a bit of thought to indicate "New Zealander" (by writing it in), and I would almost certainly do so again in the future.

    I make no negative judgements of other people's choices in this regard (whether they tick "New Zealand European" or write in any number of European nationalities like "Slovak" and "Greek", or supra-nationalities like "British").

    Perhaps the same courtesy could be extended to those who consider themselves "New Zealanders without qualification"?

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

  • Sacha,

    "Gypo" is Henry's understandable self-hate bubbling closer to the surface. The boychild needs therapy and allowing him to poison our precious national discourses in the meantime is inexcusable. And mean.

    Rick Ellis should be utterly ashamed - and act to redeem himself pronto. Big ups to Ben Gracewood for showing how it's done.

    We also deserve a PM who can at least have the basic human decency to seem appalled on behalf of his people - at the time, not a day later when the focus group results are in.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16996 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    arguably relate to one ethnicity = "Polynesian."

    These include two nationalities (Samoan, Tongan), and various types of New Zealand citizens (Maori, Cook Island Maori, Niuean, Tokelauan).

    You're confusing ethnicity and race. Clue - it's not an ethnicity if no one other than the Police use it.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16996 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    What's a person of Eurasian Dutch background, who is a 3rd generation citizen of New Zealand to do?

    Maybe indicate all the groups you belong to, like it asks you to.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16996 posts Report Reply

  • dc_red,

    @Sacha

    Perhaps we need a bit longer so that it becomes obviously distinctive from the belonging of Maori New Zealanders, Indian New Zealanders, Samoan New Zealanders or Korean New Zealanders. Some of us Pakeha New Zealanders see it. How short-sighted or narcissistic must I be to leave off the first bit?

    What good is done by compartmentalizing people in this way? I'd be more than happy for an "Indian New Zealander" like the GG to identify simply as a "New Zealander" if he wished to do so, and I suspect our sense of "belonging" is fairly similar.

    Your 'logic' suggests that someone whose great-grandparents immigrated from Samoa or India, and someone whose grandparents immigrated from the amorphous mass known as "Europe" can never have the same sense of belonging to New Zealand.

    What was that about short-sighted and narcissistic?

    p.s., by some definitions "Pakeha" means "not Maori" and so does not distinguish between people in the way you think it does anyway.

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

  • dc_red,

    @Sasha

    You're confusing ethnicity and race.

    The only race is the human race.

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

  • Sacha,

    Perhaps the same courtesy could be extended to those who consider themselves "New Zealanders without qualification"?

    No. 'Courtesy' suggests there's no harm - just like that 'funny' Paul Henry never hurt anyone.

    Claiming a term that belongs to all of us is not ok. It's aggressive.

    Geez, maybe we need (pdf, 518KB) a review or something.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16996 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    What good is done by compartmentalizing people in this way?

    It's kind of useful if you don't wish to retain a childish belief that we're all exactly the same. Oh, and to measure inequality - which is why skepticism is correlated positively with the colour of one's neck.

    And I'm looking forward to Aspie being an ethnicity - but that requires building a culture.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16996 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    p.s., by some definitions "Pakeha" means "not Maori" and so does not distinguish between people in the way you think it does anyway.

    I'm hopelessly naive

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16996 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Your 'logic' suggests

    Ditch the black or white

    Maybe indicate all the groups you belong to

    We can share the same sense of belonging and have some different ones besides. What's so troublesome about that notion?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16996 posts Report Reply

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