As much as I dislike labelling any single event as 'changing NZ for ever,' I think the terrorist attack on March 15 did. One of the many longterm effects is that non-Muslim New Zealanders now know so much more about Islam and many have befriended members of the Muslim community in their neighbourhood. The greeting 'As-Salaam-Alaikum' is now part of our lexicon.
These are the NZ stories
We heard a lot from right-wingers claiming free speech for racists, misogynists, and nazis this year and ,sadly, I expect a lot more next year.
My guess is that most Labour and all Green MPs do understand that users are often also suppliers (from necessity) but they still need the votes of socially conservative NZF MPs to get decriminalisation through parliament. Separating out users from suppliers may be enough to get support but they really will need to ramp up the testing and support services massively to have any chance of making this work.
This tweet from political journalist Jason Walls suggests the claim that Lees-Galloway hid behind a pillar to avoid media was not as reported by some media:
I think it’s important to note that claims that Iain Lees-Galloway was ‘hiding behind pillars’ from media this week have been exaggerated.
Thank you for writing this, Russell. It encapsulates everything that I have been feeling about this terrible (and avoidable) tragedy.
Labour did put up a candidate in the Northland by-election - as a political journalist you should know that.
Black lives matter, Trump, Brexit, French beaches, Brash ....
I agree that Rob released this data in good faith, and I do not believe that Phil Twyford is racist. However, I do believe Twyford at least should have realised that the way this research was framed, it would be inevitable that people of Chinese ethnicity are going to feel more vulnerable as a result.
Personally, I think not enough was done to make it clear that investors from PRC are becoming an issue in property markets elsewhere as well, and this is why Labour has reluctantly issuing research that indicates this may be a factor in Auckland house prices. Labour should have supplemented the Chine names analysis that indicated general overseas investment eg the REINZ figures on NZ mortgages .
On top of this Labour should have apologised to the resident Chinese community when it became clear that many are upset. Instead there has just been defensive justification from Little and Twyford.
"This really is spectacularly stupid politics from Labour."
I couldn't agree more, and I am astounded that Rob Salmond and Phil Twyford don't see it.
For what it is worth I do think there are a lot of non-resident investment in Auckland housing, but why frame it as a Chinese issue, and why use suspect data that inevitably will be seen as racist? Why not just say we need some accurate figures as there is a lot of anecdotal evidence that could fuel racism?
'Dirty Politics' also had a role is fostering a sense that Labour were not united and were incompetent, although I do think there was some basis for the disunity claim.
From February 2014 there were anti-Cunliffe stories all over the MSM. Some, like the Donghua Liu story were clear examples of Farrar/Slater dirty politics at work. Others were from within the Labour caucus and from people like Quin.