Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Morning in Auckland

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  • HORansome,

    I have to agree. "New Zealander" is not an ethnicity (well, it might be if we use it to refer to Māori, but we have an ethnic label for Māori; it's "Māori") and should not be on the census as such (it would really screw over the ability for people to infer large chunks of quite important information from the census). New Zealander may be a nationality but ethnicity, no. To quote Wikipedia:

    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)

    Frankly, I'm quite happy with Pāekhā.

    Tāmaki Makaurau • Since Sep 2008 • 424 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    I hope Ben Gracewood will arrange with Breakfast producers to go ahead and do his next segment, now that there's temporarily no impediment to staying.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood,

    For many long years, New Zealand has adopted the "who do you affiliate with" approach to ethnicity. This is in contrast to most countries focus on blood quanta.
    The downside of the NZ is approach is that you have to work with various self declared categories, on the assumption that because people choose to identify as such the label must be of significance to them. This makes it hard to place people in nice clean boxes for analysis and description purposes.
    The downside to the blood quanta approach is that it inevitably has led to formal, rigid approaches to classifying people which bear little relationship to their life experience. Also arguments about exactly what proportion of ancestry defines who you are.

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 896 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    [side threadjack] Marcus have you got a link to that article? I'm really interested as to why people put their kids through non-evidence based treatments.I wrote a post about it on humans recently http://humans.org.nz if you care to look.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 2096 posts Report Reply

  • chris,

    He's a lot like Sacha Baron Cohen in that respect, of.

    ..except he doesn't have a Cambridge History degree, a Golden globe, acting training, a handful of well crafted characters from which to launch his attacks, or any other real commitment or techniques to publicly distance himself from the persona we see on screen.

    He's a lot like Alan Partridge.

    中国 • Since Jan 2010 • 900 posts Report Reply

  • Yamis,

    I do have a problem with people who suggest that being a "New Zealander" is an ethnicity, however. It's not. It's either a refusal to define oneself in terms of ethnicity at all (which is valid), or it is a subtle way of reinforcing the view that "real New Zealanders" are white immigrants from the UK and Ireland (which is not valid, and is precisely what Paul Henry's comments were aimed at.)

    You might have to excuse my writing because I think I'm high on paint fumes, tile cement fumes and grouting fumes. Hope it makes sense. And apologies for getting into this debate which RB was saving for later I think. I don't even feel in the mood for an argument so I'll be civil :)

    I'd fall into the first category that you mention above I guess. I couldn't care who declares themselves a "New Zealander" in the census. They could be a few months off a plane from Guatemala for all I care. And not Dr Ropata coming back either.

    What I'm unhappy with is the unspoken belief that to be a "real New Zealander" you have to give up your qualifying description of who you are as a New Zealander: you can't be a "Maori New Zealander" or a "Pakeha New Zealander" or a "French New Zealander" or an "Indian New Zealander" because these qualifiers somehow make you less of a New Zealander in the process. That is, fundamentally, what I object to-I am just as much a New Zealander for identifying as a pakeha as my sister is for identifying as Maori. Our differences don't make our nationality any less valid for either of us.

    You don't have to give up your qualifying description. If somebody wants to put "Maori New Zealander" or "French New Zealander" then they can.

    I've used this same argument here before but nothing like recycled thought. My daughter was born in New Zealand to myself, a honky, and a Korean mum. So what's she? A Korean? A European? A Korean New Zealander? A Korean European New Zealander? And if she marries somebody who is half Greek and half Fijian then what ethnicity are her children going to put on the census form? She will get to choose at the end of the day but if she feels no connection to Europe or Korea then why try to compartmentalise her into an irrelevant box as to who she is as a person? (I don't even know what I just wrote :) )

    Many people, hundreds of thousands of NZers have blood from a variety of places and they CHOOSE which one(s) they feel they are, like hypothetically a Samoan who is a quarter Chinese ticking "Samoan" on the census form.

    If people can choose to omit ethnicities they don't particularly identify with then how's choosing "New Zealander" any different? I've just omitted the "European" bit.

    And how far back should people go? If they were born in NZ, and their parents, and grand parents, and great grand parents were as well, where does it stop?

    To finish off, I realise that some people may have been motivated by some sort of nationalistic, white pride, white sheets and burning crosses, ideas when they chose "New Zealander" on the last census form but I effing well was not!

    I'm hoping for some sort of question on what you identify as/nationality in the next census then I'll happily go back to letting the bean counters in Wellington know that my great grand parents came to NZ from Scotland, Wales and England and that that probably makes me prone to sun burn and whiskey so they can spend more money on skin cancer specialists and liver transplant facilities.

    Since Nov 2006 • 876 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Oh, you mean like she did with a certain cheeky whitey who happened to host the top-rating breakfast radio show in the country?

    Refresh my memory, was Clark on air and being interviewed at the time the infamous comment was made?

    Also, I don't recall Holmes being routinely subjected to upheld complaints about his on-air utterances. It's not like Henry's a first offender who should be given the benefit of the doubt.

    Apart from that though, yeah, totally similar situations.

    There's also this:

    Prime Minister Helen Clark distanced New Zealand from the comments.

    "That comment was completely unacceptable and demeaning of one of the world's top civil servants," she said.

    "I would not want New Zealand in any way to be associated with such comments."

    That's from the BBC, but it was reported very widely.

    So, um yeah, struggling to see any similarity in the responses of the respective Prime Ministers at all.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18959 posts Report Reply

  • uroskin,

    Interesting that Spartacus is looking for a Caucasian male

    . I might apply cos I bet I give better blowjobs to Crixus than Juicy Lucy.

    Waiheke Island • Since Feb 2007 • 178 posts Report Reply

  • Marcus Turner,

    @Hilary

    Sorry. We only get the paper copy here.

    It's pretty much desparation - even by people who know, deep inside, that it won't work.

    Since Nov 2006 • 202 posts Report Reply

  • Jan Farr,

    He's a lot like Sacha Baron Cohen in that respect, of.

    ..except he doesn't have a Cambridge History degree, a Golden globe, acting training, a handful of well crafted characters from which to launch his attacks, or any other real commitment or techniques to publicly distance himself from the persona we see on screen.

    He's a lot like Alan Partridge.

    As well, Sacha Baron Cohen is often quite amusing.

    Carterton • Since Apr 2008 • 394 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    Thanks Marcus. Seems to be behind a pay wall. Will go to a library with real paper copies.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 2096 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    So, um yeah, struggling to see any similarity in the responses of the respective Prime Ministers at all.

    ETA: Aw, screw it. I'll just say put this in the "agree to disagree" file, and move on. Had a really lovely lunch date with Danielle and Jackie today, and it would be foolish to harsh that buzz any sooner than strictly necessary.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12034 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    The point I'm making about Sacha Baron Cohen is that the means by which he drags people to his level is generally by acting like a tool. It's powerful because if you ignore it, then he just acts like more of a tool, until he finally gets you to crack. The longer you take, ie the more reasonable you are, the more you lose to a tactic like that. But, quite frankly, if you're even being interviewed by Baron Cohen, you've already lost, and I tend to think the same with Paul Henry.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8586 posts Report Reply

  • chris,

    You make a valid point Ben. I'm a big fan of the first Ali G season so my post was a little knee jerk there.

    Ben Gracewood, my hat off to you. I think your gesture made a difference.

    I'm feeling that too bro.

    中国 • Since Jan 2010 • 900 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    BTW, the news is now high profile in the online edition of the SMH and includes this paragraph which neatly sums up the inadeqacy of the PM's response:

    Mr Key took the comments in his stride, but they sparked complaints to the television network, the resignation of another of the show's presenters and were condemned by New Zealand's race relations commission for showing appalling ignorance.

    "In his stride" is a far more generous description than I'd describe.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2233 posts Report Reply

  • chris,

    Yeah, that's in sharp contrast to the more recent.

    "That is the right course of action,"

    re: the suspension from the Keyster. It seems his moral compass is on 24 hour delay. I never thought I'd say it but bring back Helen. Key's response on the show defied what a leader should do.

    If he can't stand up to the likes of the mere Paul Henry for what is right and good and just for the nation then what can he do?

    中国 • Since Jan 2010 • 900 posts Report Reply

  • TracyMac,

    I'm with the group pointing out that "New Zealander" is not an ethnicity - it describes everyone who is a citizen of this country, whether that citizenship occurred at birth, or in a ceremony 5 minutes ago.

    The whole point of the census question is about ethnicity, and by allowing the NZer label in that context, the question is made meaningless (we'll keep the debate on whether questions on ethnicity are appropriate these days either to a later time).

    I personally am still extremely pissed off that "Pakeha" is no longer in the census, but the NZer term is. I'm not "European", although of course I'm of predominantly Irish descent - I'm a Pakeha NZer, and quite happy about that.

    I can just about cope with "European" included as an ethnic description for the racist wankers who object to the term "Pakeha", but if you're going to ask the ethnicity question, at least make it have some meaning.

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 487 posts Report Reply

  • chris,

    I'm with the group pointing out that "New Zealander" is not an ethnicity - it describes everyone who is a citizen of this country, whether that citizenship occurred at birth, or in a ceremony 5 minutes ago.

    Is "New Zealander" not included as an 'ethnicity' to gauge/ reveal something more? Republicanism perhaps?.

    中国 • Since Jan 2010 • 900 posts Report Reply

  • TracyMac,

    Oh, and for the person wondering what to do if you are of mixed ethnicity, select all that apply. It's not that hard.

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 487 posts Report Reply

  • Neil Morrison,

    I earlier defended both Goff and Key since I believed that neither agreed with Henry and that it served no useful purpose in combatting racism to crowbar this into partisan politics.

    I still think that.

    Since Nov 2006 • 932 posts Report Reply

  • chris,

    racism.....................................||...................................politics

    中国 • Since Jan 2010 • 900 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    The GG speaks:

    "I'm informed that I was born at Bethany Hospital, 37 Dryden St, Grey Lynn and I don't need to add much to that"

    So, definitely not a real Kiwi then ... ;)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 782 posts Report Reply

  • David Cormack,

    Here's a fun game to play: when someone starts bleeting that people are too sensitive and this is just 'PC bullshit', ask them to define what political correctness is. Then watch them fail.

    Suburbia, Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 216 posts Report Reply

  • Just thinking,

    Paul Henry Hope was only jerked off air because of context not content.

    It was to the PM about, er his boss the GG.

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

    Putaringamotu • Since Apr 2009 • 1147 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    So, definitely not a real Kiwi then ... ;)

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

    ETA: Never thought I'd tweet this, but here goes:

    Hate to say this, but @Whaleoil has a point: Hard to see how @tvnznews didn't breech name suppression tonight, will they be prosecuted?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12034 posts Report Reply

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