I don't think I realised the significance of this at the time, but my first experience on the internet was the result of a brief foray into journalism in 1995 or 1996. I had been hired by an indie radio station in Gisborne to be "news manager", responsible for the news bulletins, interviews, etc on the morning show. Essentially this involved going online to Yahoo and reading out their articles on air.
Yes, I realise now this was a terrible idea, but none of us thought anything of it at the time. Having access to news stories before the printed copies of the newspapers even made it to our doorstep was a huge deal for us. (For the record, I did terribly at the job, with no background in journalism and no other characteristics to recommend me beyond a deep speaking voice.)
Of course, I couldn't afford my own computer or internet connection, so I used to use a computer in a cafe where you'd pay $10 for 15 minutes access...
As a bus driver I can see this, and even that bus users are perhaps more likely to be non European.
Now that's an ear-to-the-ground perspective! I've always loved that about Auckland: riding the bus and hearing all the different accents and languages, and trying to place them.
The community of Brazilian exchange students who catch the Devonport bus every day are notorious for turning certain trips into a raucous occasion, full of Portugese and English swearwords, but the place wouldn't be the same without them.
People in Auckland are accepting of diverse ethnic backgrounds, yes, but if you aren't white it's still something to be noticed and commented on.
Definitely. Racism is still alive and well in Auckland, often it's just obscured under the inherent embarrassed politeness many Aucklanders cultivate.
It's certainly better here than other parts of NZ, for what that's worth, and I do think there has been a slow shift towards being more inclusive. When my family and I moved here in the mid 1990s from Hastings, we also moved away from a homogenous society that saw us as "weird" (my father was the only person I knew who had an accent, and my sister was Māori while I and my mother plainly weren't) and into a city that welcomed us with a refreshing indifference. No one cared that we were "different", because we weren't that different here.
I do remember witnessing (or more often hearing about) fairly blatant examples of racism in later years, though, particularly directed at my sister and at Chinese friends. Those incidents aren't really mine to discuss, but as an outsider to those experiences I do get the impression that they've become less common as the years have passed.
Is on-line bullying really that hard to see?
Sometimes, yes it is. Having one person reply to you with "You're wrong!" might be no big deal to most people. Having a thousand, or ten thousand, people say it all at the same time, and for days and weeks afterwards, is potentially emotionally devastating. Especially when each one of those replies is from someone who thinks that they, uniquely, have a duty to say so, and a right to be responded to in return.
Online modes of communication are so uniquely filtered by individual experience, preferences and asymmetries that there's genuinely no way to tell how someone else is experiencing that communication unless they tell you.
I'm no stranger to vigorous debate, and generally enjoy it, but I think that it's worth remembering that there's only one person who has authority over whether or not they feel bullied.
(Late to the party, I know.)
and an AWOL management culture at TVNZ that should never have let things get this far.
I know this is a bit of a nitpick, but politically connected folks come and go all the time into the offices and meeting rooms at TVNZ. There's no way TCNZ's management could know that the purpose of any given meeting wasn't kosher without being told so by the participants.
To my mind, the failure here is pretty clearly Taurimu's, not his bosses.
I think that this is one of the few times I can recall where TVNZ's Māori programming has been accused of bias, and it all seems to be after the fact. (Māori Television has ruffled a few more feathers, though.)
I certainly don't think that Labour's front bench is that much more Maori-friendly than National, but in terms of the calculus of MMP, Winston has more to gain from attacking Maori in general, and the Maori Party in particular, if he intends to side with National. If (and it's a big if) Labour manages to take back some of the Maori seats this year, the Maori Party is going to be weakened, adding the potential value a strong NZ First would bring to a National coalition.
Furthermore, NZ First will only have to compete with ACT and (potentially) the Conservatives on this idiotic "One law for all" crap. National won't overtly do anything to slag off Maori-specific policies to keep the Maori Party happy, but I doubt anyone in the party will be unhappy that Winston is taking this track.
On the other hand, it makes it harder to see NZ First working with Labour, because even if the Labour caucus isn't particularly Maori-friendly, Labour voters tend to be much more in favour of policies like Whanau Ora than National voters.
It's all just speculation until Winston signs a coalition agreement after the election, and the Winston we see today might not be the Winston we see tomorrow, but this speech has the hallmarks of a run at a National coalition government, at least.
Well, that didn’t take long:
Nw Zealand First leader Winston Peters has described Maori Party policies as akin to apartheid.
Mr Peters, speaking at celebrations at Ratana Pa, said his party would never support separatist Maori Party policies such as having separate Maori units in prison and the separate Maori social welfare system Whanau Ora.
He described them as “racist policies based on colour and ethnic preference”.
“What Maori need is housing, decent healthcare, decent education system and first world jobs and wages,” Mr Peters said.
“The Maori Party has abandoned that for socialogical objectives which are of no interest to Maoridom at all,” he said.
“Apartheid policies are based on racial preference. This is, too."
If Winston is going after Maori, rather than refugees or Asians, he must think he’s got a better shot with National than Labour.