Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: A Full Sense of Nationhood

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  • giovanni tiso,

    Whatever his flaws, Key likes people and wants to be liked.

    So we have an emotionally needy Prime Minister. That's just great.

    (I kid, I kid)

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    Sadly, the denizens don't seem to share your enthusiasm for the new PM's choice of dance partners.

    Poor ol'David, his friends are nutters.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Sadly, the denizens don't seem to share your enthusiasm for the new PM's choice of dance partners.

    Jake: I did a little thought experiment, and tried to imagine who (and how) would be going off. Damn it, if only I could pick lotto numbers with the same accuracy...

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    So we have an emotionally needy Prime Minister. That's just great.

    (I kid, I kid)

    Quite a good joke, I thought.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22747 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Easterbrook,

    Quite a good joke, I thought.

    We say "LOL" on the interweb, Russell ;)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 262 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    ""Roughan cites as an example of Clark's "deficiency" of spirit her response to the idea that Roger Douglas be nominated in his newspaper's promotional campaign to name the "Greatest Living New Zealander".

    ....the idea of Douglas being so anointed came from Don Brash"

    I wish Brash ad Roughan would do their basic research before throwing these half-baked ideas around.....








    .....I mean, surely being seen rising from a coffin at sunset on November 8th to feast on the blood of innocents is enough to disqualify someone from being nominated as "Greatest Living New Zealander"?

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Like your day Russell it was a world away from the events at Waitangi - but at least part of the point of Waitangi is to engage with the historical roots of the day and recognise the coming together of Maori and Pakeha culture. My Waitangi weekend had none of that, and unfotunately redefining the day as a celebration of modern New Zealand does nothing for the significance behind the day itself.

    I agree Gareth.

    To me the issues of Waitangi and the history of the past couple of hundred years and their current meaning aren't well-integrated enough in our general society. So Waitangi Day is a time that they should be raised, challenged etc.

    If it doesn't happen then, it feels to me like it doesn't happen at all.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    Sadly, the denizens don't seem to share your enthusiasm for the new PM's choice of dance partners.

    Remind anyone else of the Blue Wiggle?

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    .....I mean, surely being seen rising from a coffin at sunset on November 8th to feast on the blood of innocents is enough to disqualify someone from being nominated as "Greatest Living New Zealander"?

    So would being beloved by people taking at all seriously a silly season gimmick in New Zealand's dumbest newspaper. But what do I know?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Mikaere Curtis,

    When I was learning Te Reo, I had a friendly disagreement with the tutor about the karakia at the beginning and end of the lesson, once I had learned enough to figure out what we were saying.

    The purpose of karakia is to focus the group on the task at hand. It provides a boundary between the kaupapa of the hui and the everyone getting on with the rest of their activities.

    The initial karakia focusses the group on the purpose of the hui, and the closing karakia enables the group to de-focus and get on with whatever. Having worked in both Pakeha and Maori work environments, I have found meetings that have karakia are significantly more effective because you don't have the arsing about and small talk that typically brackets a meeting. You know when it starts and when it ends.

    The fact that most karakia are Christian is an artefact of colonisation, and there's no reason for a karakia to invoke a deity at all - in terms of it's purpose within the context of a hui.

    I used to get a bit of stick at work for not participating in karakia or powhiri. My excuse was "it's not culturally appropriate for me to mouth religious or cultural views that I don't share" and I still stand by that.

    Hmm, which aspect of "we welcome you visitors to our place" or "thanks for welcoming us" do you find culturally inappropriate ?

    Tamaki Makaurau • Since Nov 2006 • 528 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    The Maori classrooms at my school had a whole lot of Bible verses (in Maori) tacked up on the walls. At age sixteen, I thought this was weird, given that we were there to learn the language. Looking back, I'd consider it a fairly clear contravention of the supposed secularity of public education.

    Ahh, but you were 16. And, one assumes, at high school. Only primary schools are (required to be) secular in New Zealand.

    Education Act 1964:
    79 Attendance at religious instruction or observances not compulsory
    (1) No pupil enrolled at a State primary school shall be required to attend or take part in any such instruction or observances if any parent or guardian of the pupil does not wish the pupil to take part therein and makes his or her wishes known in writing to the Head Teacher of the school.

    (2) Any parent or guardian who has given such an indication of wishes may at any time withdraw it.

    ...

    81 Schools other than State primary schools not affected
    Nothing in this Act shall affect religious instruction or religious observances in schools other than State primary schools.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3202 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    Reason #137 why PublicAddress is better than wheaties:

    The purpose of karakia is to focus the group on the task at hand. It provides a boundary between the kaupapa of the hui and the everyone getting on with the rest of their activities.

    The initial karakia focusses the group on the purpose of the hui, and the closing karakia enables the group to de-focus and get on with whatever. Having worked in both Pakeha and Maori work environments, I have found meetings that have karakia are significantly more effective because you don't have the arsing about and small talk that typically brackets a meeting. You know when it starts and when it ends.

    The fact that most karakia are Christian is an artefact of colonisation, and there's no reason for a karakia to invoke a deity at all - in terms of it's purpose within the context of a hui.

    Thanks Mikaere. Just, thanks.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Gabor Toth,

    There is actually a continuity here. It was a Labour government that anointed February 6 as "a national day of thanksgiving in commemoration of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi" in 1957, and the Kirk government that made it a national holiday-- in the first instance, as New Zealand Day

    Around the mid-1970s there was a fair bit of coverage in the media as to what our "National Day" should be called. With the sort of logic that only a c.7 year old lad could come up with, I remember asking my father that seeing as we had a National Day and a Labour Day, why didn't we have a Social Credit Day? :)

    Wellington • Since Dec 2006 • 136 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    I'll add to Paul's thanks for Mikaere's sharing of te knowledge (bro) with the same to Graeme for that veeeeeeeery intriguing little tidbit of legislation. You learn something new every page-refresh...

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1727 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    te knowledge (bro) referring to that swinging new PAS meme that's all the rage with the kids, of course...

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1727 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Thanks Mikaere. Just, thanks.

    Me too.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22747 posts Report Reply

  • dc_red,

    Oh, FFS... seriously, what the hell were they supposed to do? Have Key behind a wall of black suits, as he's hustled from locked down photo op to a venue where you only get within a mile of the great man if you've lined up for three hours to get through a security barrier?

    And various other comments from Craig about the DPS.

    I see it differently. They are a bunch of well-paid, well-dressed, high-tech goons who follow the PM everywhere with essentially only one purpose ... to stop him being assaulted.

    History suggests that Waitangi is the place where such an assault is most likely to occur.

    Key is barely out of his car when the DPS allow not one, but two, morons to assault him (the second one getting a good throttle going for a few seconds there).

    Thus, the DPS failed in their duty (which, to answer Craig's question, is to do whatever is required under the circumstances to stop morons shoving and throttling the PM).

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

  • Paul Williams,

    Thus, the DPS failed in their duty (which, to answer Craig's question, is to do whatever is required under the circumstances to stop morons shoving and throttling the PM).

    Just to clarify, I generally agree with the sentiment expressed by Craig but also agree the DPS have failed in this instance.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Tim Michie,

    With the standard media Waitangi nibble on what happened to Key it's good to see most everyone had a good day.

    I did at the Waitangi Day Festival, Okahu Bay. It was as Russell said, the whole metropolitan rainbow with the celebration of this land in the sea and (not that I've had a terrible time 'enjoy[ing] as [I] saw fit') a very positive day I'll return for next year.

    Auckward • Since Nov 2006 • 614 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks,

    I have found meetings that have karakia are significantly more effective because you don't have the arsing about and small talk that typically brackets a meeting. You know when it starts and when it ends.

    I wish we had karakia at my work, then. We have that problem all the time - needless chit-chat at the beginning delaying the start and worse at the end. It's most insideous as the meeting winds down, when I'm not sure the meeting has completely derailed and run its course as a formal meeting or not. If there was a clear cut beginning and end, I could get up and leave when the gossiping starts.

    I used to get a bit of stick at work for not participating in karakia or powhiri. My excuse was "it's not culturally appropriate for me to mouth religious or cultural views that I don't share" and I still stand by that.

    Hmm, which aspect of "we welcome you visitors to our place" or "thanks for welcoming us" do you find culturally inappropriate ?

    To be fair, a few of us have obviously learned from your explanation of the real purpose of karakia. I think Mark's particular experience of karakia and powhiri included religious content, and it is that that he's referring to here.

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1164 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Harris,

    The fact that most karakia are Christian is an artefact of colonisation, and there's no reason for a karakia to invoke a deity at all - in terms of it's purpose within the context of a hui.

    I take your point, but most do involve some form of religious interaction and I object to this mightily.

    Hmm, which aspect of "we welcome you visitors to our place" or "thanks for welcoming us" do you find culturally inappropriate ?

    The bits that call on "te Atua" to bless the hui/meeting/powhiri/whatever. I'd find it just as offensive if it was in English, by the way. I even object to the prayer at the opening of the parliamentary session. I do not object to the use of Te Reo, and use it myself (if haltingly), just all the quasi-religious stuff that gets put around it.

    Waikanae • Since Jul 2008 • 1343 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Harris,

    @Steve
    Spot on.

    Waikanae • Since Jul 2008 • 1343 posts Report Reply

  • Luke Williamson,

    I spent Waitangi Saturday celebrating my Ma-In-Law's 70th up at Maungaturoto. Big ups to her for 70 well spent years so far and for showing how nice mothers in law can be. Anyway, also in attendance was a good friend of theirs from Canada who was asking some intelligent questions about Waitangi Day and race relations in NZ. The level of inherent anti-Maori feeling around there amongst the grey-haired, bowling club attending guests at the party was still a bit shocking to me even though I have encountered it before. Epitomised by the commnet "Well it's not that long since Maori were eating each other so what do you expect". One forgets just how built in some of that thinking is. The balance to that is our children who have gone through the schooling system for the last 10-odd years and who don't bat an eye at singing the national anthem in Maori, correctly pronouncing Maori place names, and having much greater acceptance of things Maori just because that's what they have been taught is normal. What am I trying to say . . . I don't know. We've got at least another generation yet before the "concept" of being Maori is seen as an acceptable or even positive thing for our country and that is going to express itself on Waitangi Day so get used to it and enjoy the fact that it is at least open for vigorous discussion.

    Warkworth • Since Oct 2007 • 296 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I see it differently. They are a bunch of well-paid, well-dressed, high-tech goons who follow the PM everywhere with essentially only one purpose ... to stop him being assaulted.

    *ahem* The Diplomatic Protection Squad is made up of sworn Police officers, and the less goon-ish behaviour from that quarter the better. They're also tasked with being relatively unobtrusive, and only get to put a cap in the ass of people for "looking funny" in bad American movies.

    There is a line between being conscientious and paranoid.

    And if Key has any issues with the DPS, I don't think a press scrum is the place to voice them. One of the nice things about having well-paid flunkies is that you can send your Chief of Staff along to the Police Commissioner to go Bale-istic on your behalf.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    The purpose of karakia is to focus the group on the task at hand

    Sure, and the purpose of grace is to instil a sense of gratitude and humility before eating. The objection is not to the purpose, but to the religious form. (Someone mentioned an atheist grace upthread, which I find bizarre, but whatever ...)

    Personally my attitude depends on the context. When I'm invited onto the marae, and I accept that invitation, courtesy demands conforming to protocol, whether or not I believe. In a context where cultures meet, mine is squarely secular and non-Christian, and I'd like a compromise that reflects that. Insisting on a Christian (or any religious) form can be exclusionary too.

    I have found meetings that have karakia are significantly more effective because you don't have the arsing about and small talk that typically brackets a meeting. You know when it starts and when it ends.

    You've been to a lot of poorly run meetings, in that case. In the classic pakeha tradition, meetings have a chair, the chair calls the meeting to order, and the chair calls the meeting to an end when there is no further businesses. I am afraid this is a tradition in decline, but many groups would do well to revive it.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

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