Posts by Andre Alessi

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  • Hard News: Diverse Auckland: are we…, in reply to Jean Hughes,

    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.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 864 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Diverse Auckland: are we…, in reply to Tariqa Satherley,

    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.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 864 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Poor Choices, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 864 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Poor Choices,

    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.)

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 864 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Bad Judgement, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    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.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 864 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Bad Judgement,

    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.)

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 864 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: All John's Friends, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    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.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 864 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: All John's Friends,

    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.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 864 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: All John's Friends, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Have Labour and National learned nothing from their previous marriages of convenience with that toxic bigot and his merry band of blithering ninny-hammers? Apparently not…

    They absolutely have "learned", they just don't care. Winston in government, even in coalition, is a moderately competent, quiet minister with few overt demands on government policy and a deft hand at keeping his caucus equally quiet. Winston on the election trail, on the other hand, is a disgusting demagogue and a racist troll of the highest order.

    The question is whether a coalition partner is willing to suffer through the latter to end up with the former. Your answer (which is the same as mine, FTR) isn't going to be the same as someone who wants to form a government, unfortunately.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 864 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Cranks, self-seekers and the mayor, in reply to simon g,

    I wonder why Cameron Brewer doesn't want to focus more on politicians being too close to corporates like Sky City ...

    Someone I know who works for SkyCity pointed out the other day that handing out free upgrades is so ridiculously common, it's not something most hotels even keep a record of. Cheaper rooms tend to be overbooked, so moving people to more expensive rooms for free makes sense.

    There are plenty of people in the public eye who have benefitted from gifts from SkyCity in the last few years, and honestly those gifts far outweigh a few free upgrades.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 864 posts Report Reply

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