I never visited Mad Ave, but I increasingly get the impression that comparisons between it and McGehan Close are preposterous. The major reason for its namecheck seems to be that it is in Helen Clark's electorate.
I only mentioned Mad Ave as part of a joke - I agree, they don't compare well at all, and any actual comparison does a real disservice to the proactive and positive community forces at work in Owairaka.
But yep, as pointed out by dc_red, Owairaka may be indisputably cradled in the armpit of Mt Albert, but McGehan Close itself is part of the all-devouring Roskill electorate (we used to be a *borough*, knowwaddi'msayin?). Owairaka was the name of Helen Clark's electorate in the random re-drawing/gerrymander(?) of 1996 which 'disappeared' both Mt Albert and Mt Roskill, possibly just to annoy her and Phil Goff. So perhaps Key got a little confused in the attempt to find the rot at the heart of Red Territory, or maybe just got lost on the way to his South Auckland of the Mind.
Ultimately though, Roskill & Mt Albert are the Red Belt for the same reasons as South Auckland is - because of lower middle and working class non white people looking out for their interests. Forgetting the ludicrous plays of the PR war, and the race to find the next 'worst street in the country', there's nothing misleading about residents pointing at a street in the neighbourhood and saying - 'well it's a bit crap here actually. Civilisation isn't collapsing or anything, but we could do better. Isn't that why we vote Labour?' Of course, I doubt they're so stupid as to think the National Party is going to offer them anything better (selling the backs of their babies heads for corporate sponsorship space to pay for their breakfast perhaps?).
But hell, I've just seen I/S on norightturn defending the Labour Party's poverty figures against National, despite when the Social Report came out last year, him leaping on the same rise in the 'extreme poverty' figure that Key is weilding, and bashing Labour round the head with it (as did I in the SST). I'm actually fairly pleased with this week's 'work for dole'/'underclass' punts by the Maori Party and National, because at least it's bringing these issues to the fore for (if we're lucky) parties to compete over on policy points. Maybe it'll make Labour try harder. We can only hope.
he better stop refering to it as being in "South Auckland"
It's SouthWestCentral, mUthAfuKKaZ! Where the Roskill Rock meets the Albert Hardass place.
Today's Herald looks deeper into the multi-ethnic locally driven community development that's been happening in Owairaka since the infamous Somali:Tongan stabbing of 2002 (resolved, less famously, through constructive community conciliation). Some good, and pretty typical details and quotes, on how they've scraped around to find public funding of things as simple as a community garden and a local basketball tournament. I wonder if those community leaders are asking themselves: 'so... is John Key going to give us the cash then? Cough up, white boy!' I expect, that once Key gets around to formulating some policy to go with the rhetoric shift (you'd think they'd be honour-bound to do so, but you never know), he'll end up pushing private rather than public funding of community development projects, for sheer lack of a point of difference. After all, Mad Ave was literally erased - perhaps McGehan Close could bloom into Vodafone Parade.
Here's an email from a Maori roll voter in Tamaki Makaurau:
I don't expect the work-for-dole concept to survive debate on the marae, which according to Maori Party tikanga anyway, should occur before the MP's drop a vote on it in the House, or confirm it as an Official Party Policy. Pita will listen, and I would be very surprised if he or the Maori Party will push the work-for-dole idea very far.
I agree with you - the trail leads back to something like the Community Employment Group. The Brash time-warp may have put us back a few years, but if Pita wants to cut the benefit-depedency strings, Iwi-based community development & employment projects promise more for Maori and NZ than work-for-dole (a tired and suckful idea that doesn't work for all the reasons you and others have pointed out).
As for the Maori Party swinging right, left, up, down, wherever; they'll go where they're told... I think. And I don't think Maori are currently inclined to demand right-wing policies. Maybe one day, but not just yet.
For my part I'll be telling Pita: "No work-for-dole, Yes iwi-based community development and employment projects".
if I recall correctly the number of longterm unemployed as a percentage of overall unemployed probably isn't decreasing. I could be mistaken here but I think you'll find that while, absolute numbers of long term unemployed may be decreasing, because frictional and other short term unemployment is very very low right now, the long term component of overall unemployment is probably higher than usual.
I won't pretend to know what frictional unemployment is, but, failing to find an easy line-graph, I have just done rough calculations of the long-term unemployed figures for September 2006 (20% of all unemployed), 2005 (19.6%) and 2004 (22%). I can't find previous Septembers, but June 2002 is about 28%, June 2001 about 30%. This is all from the Household Labour Force Survey. And here's slightly longer view from the Social Report 2006, also based on the HLFS:
In 2005, 22 percent of the surveyed unemployed ...had been unemployed for a continuous period of six months or more [the standard classification for 'long term'], a decline from 23 percent in 2004. The 2005 level of long-term unemployment was just under that recorded in 1986 (23 percent) and substantially lower than the peak of 53 percent in 1992.
As far as I can tell, there has been a fall in the proportion of long-term unemployment as a percentage of all unemployment in the last six years.
Burn! Nice one Helen.
3) It hasn't rained since I got here. I haven't even seen a cloud. It's creepy.
Ah yes. The creepy phenonemon known as the 'Dry Season.' If it *did* start raining, that would be an indication of the increasingly unseasonal arrival of the wet season due to climate change - which would in fact, actually be creepy.
4) Didn't think I would, but I'm sick of Indian food already. The Chinese food is pretty dire
Ah, Hongkies. See Keith, if you were SEA Chinese, you'd think South Indian curry *was* Chinese food. You'd never get away with this kind of hokey orientalist tourist commentary if you were white. Then again, you do get cranky when you go without your noodles. *Make* yourself some freakin' noodles if you have to Keith, and give us back our journalist.
I'm guessing this is not an Intredpid Journey NZ On Air Gig, are you funding this trip yourself?
Keith would like to thank his sponsors, the Asia:NZ Foundation.
wow! a Chinese playing a Filipina. Whoopdy bloody doo.
No my dear, it's a Chinese who could have quite easily played a Filipina, but the producers didn't know enough about the Philippines to realise that she could have.
actress Faye Smythe, who plays Tania (a pakeha character), was originally asked to audition for the role of Shannon (a Maori character).
Indeed: the actress who plays Tania is South African 'Coloured', that finely tuned apartheid-era racial category. When she first appeared on SS I thought "why have they gotten a Samoan afakasi girl playing a white girl? Is that big ol' heap of makeup they've got piled on her face an attempt to make her look paler? Oh well."
A hospital without South Africans and Indians would be a very empty place.
No kidding. There are moves afoot also to develop an Indian doctor character. When they killed off their last bunch of ethnic characters and brought in the white Australian doctor family, I was confused as to why they didn't make them South African.
Incidentally, what happened to all the Iranians, Turks and Israelis in the stats? Asia doesn't stop at the Iran/Afghan border - it continues for another 3000km to the Bosporos.
Stats NZ had to cut of 'Asian' arbitrarily somewhere. Those groups are within MELAA - Middle East, Latin American, and African. They are currently at around 1% or less. Sure, it doesn't make sense, but then, find me an internationally used statistical definition of 'Asian' that does.
And while I'm being pedantic, why do Chinese people self-identify as "yellow"
'Yellow' is an English word; so you may as well ask why white people call us that. Ultimately, I do think that we are on the whole, yellower of skin tone than you (assuming you are white) in *real life* as opposed to photobucket, and we don't have any particular hangups about admitting it. Yellow is also traditionally associated with the Chinese people in our own culture, because of the mythology of the Yellow Emperor and the Han people's origin in the Yellow River Valley - yellow is an imperial colour and an ethnonationalist one to some extent, identifying the fertility of the yellow-coloured silty Yellow river with the life-force of the people. Traditional Chinese racist ideologies see 'pure yellow' people as superior to the 'muddier' Southeast Asian tributaries. But - duh - there's hardly such a thing as a pure yellow skin tone. Similarly, white people are called/call themselves white, when they are not actually the colour white unless ill/dying.
Hmm, speakers from places as obscure as Hungary and Syria, three from S'pore/Malaysia, none from Pakistan (duh)... and *none from China.* Interesting. The programme asks: 'Does the 21st Century belong to Asia?', saying,
it is perhaps possible to foresee a situation, when the
importance of Asia increases at an exponential rate, thus making it the centre of international economic activity. But, is Asia consciously working towards it? Are the emerging economic powerhouses of Asia connecting with each other, where a unified face of Asia seems possible?
Uh... when you don't invite the other economic powerhouse of Asia along to the panel addressing that question... it sort of answers itself?
I guess the New Zealand angle will be, as ever 'what's in it for us', 'what did the New Zealand delegate say,' 'did the New Zealand delegate get to meet anyone important,' and 'did the New Zealand delegate meet any adorable ducks.' I'm interested in how the conference is framing India as an emerging influential geopolitical power, explicitly compared against China in the new world order - but will the conference actually address how that power will be exercised, particularly in terms of points of difference with China? Will there be any discussion at this conference about responsibilities for 'South' leadership on development, trade and - I doubt it, but hey - human rights, democracy and multilateralism? The programme for '21st Century: global outlook' says:
As economic interests tend to overshadow ideological alliances, it would be interesting to see how the emerging economies play their chessmen in the big game called strategic alliances.
Indeed. Does this mean that India will largely abandon any principles it has - eg selling out Burma and the Tibetans - in order to play chess with the other big 'emerging economy' which it incidentally, again didn't invite along onto this panel, a panel which instead features an ex-Prime Minister of Hungary?
"None of these people like the Han Chinese terribly much", is a potentially racist comment
Alright then: "None of these ethnic groups have a reputation for liking the Han Chinese terribly much. And vice versa."
Maori ancestry traced back to Taiwan
Sure, the indigenous Taiwanese ethnic groups are part of the Austro-Polynesian language group and prehistoric Austro-Polynesian diaspora, as are a lot of ethnic and language groups in Southeast Asia (eg Malays, Javanese, etc). None of these people like the Han Chinese terribly much. Pretending that Maori and Chinese (rather than the meaningless epithet 'Asian' for purposes such as these) share whakapapa and should therefore like each other, is convenient and simplistic. Even though it is almost always wielded with good intentions, it is still a lie. And even if it were true, the notion of belonging to a common 'race' is a dubious reason to suddenly treat someone with respect, where previously you scorned them as an outsider.