Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Waitangi Day BBQ Challenge

On Jan 8th I emailed the leaders of all seven of the political parties currently in government, and also Winston Peters for good measure, and asked them if they would care to support the drive for Kiwi's to own their national holiday, to get over the bickering and fighting and laid down the challenge that Waitangi Day "is for people to own the day, and celebrate it!"

Over the past week I have heard back from five parties (National, Labour, Maori Party, United Future and Jim Anderton's Progressives) with statements of support around the idea.

For the full run down of the concept visit www.waitangiday.org.nz but for now the statements of support are below.

John Key
"Waitangi Day marks a very important day in New Zealand's history. It's a day to celebrate the unique and ambitious treaty signed by our forebears in 1840, and the growing unity between Maori and other New Zealanders in our communities. I'm proud to be Prime Minister of this great country, and I look forward to Waitangi Day celebrations on February 6."

Phil Goff
"Waitangi Day is the day we celebrate the foundation of modern New Zealand. It reflects the bicultural foundation of our country. But it is a day for all Kiwis to come together and celebrate a country that has much to offer its people. It should be a day to celebrate ourselves and to value how really special - and what beautiful country it is. It is a country where people of all different origins live together in respect and harmony and it is a country with real potential to deliver a decent life to all its people."

Pita Sharples
"Tautoko Pat!
The Treaty is for all New Zealanders to celebrate how we came together, and the shared values that keep us living together in peace. We all value our own histories and traditions, and with mutual recognition and respect, co-operation, and the utmost good faith, we have unity in our diversity. So gather round the barbie, and give thanks for what our ancestors have given us.
Kia ora,
Pita Sharples."

Peter Dunne
"Pat, I agree entirely with your sentiment. UnitedFuture has long held that New Zealand needs a National Day it can be proud of, not just another excuse for a holiday or long weekend. Waitangi Day is a day for all of us, whatever our background, to celebrate the greatest thing we have in common - the fact that we all live here."

Jim Anderton
"Waitangi Day for me is when we should celebrate the new New Zealand – with our diversity of culture and the development of what I call our Ngāti Kiwi nationhood.

On this day, we celebrate the uniqueness of New Zealanders – where we have all come from and what we have and can become.

It is the day on which we should, in particular, celebrate the strong and enduring relationship between Māori and non-Māori, which is the true reality of the New Zealand I love."

The challenge is now out there to you and I, to take this fantastic gift we have of living in Aotearoa, New Zealand...truly GodZone and celebrate it on out national day.

Speaking about waitangiday.org.nz

Flava Friday 21st January

Classic Hits Gisborne Monday 24th January

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

2011 a year for new perspectives

Albert Einstein said the definition if insanity is "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

I think we as a nation have begun doing this habitually and in 2011 we need a new perspective.

We hear today about another horrific death of a baby at the hands of family members, according to stuff.co.nz "Mikara Ranui Jarius Reti died shortly after family members on his maternal side took him from Flaxmere to Hawke's Bay Hospital last Tuesday."

This is a story we have heard far too many times in the past, and one sadly that we will hear far too many times in the future.

It is time to do and say something different about this, I say it's time to look at this issue again with a new perspective and try to figure out why it is happening. Now many right now will just simply say "it's an issue that just needs to stop!" And you'd be right, it does, however this is where I come back to Einstein's theory on insanity, we've been saying that for years...and it hasn't, we've been pointing the finger at Maori and it hasn't changed, we've been talking about the underclass and it hasn't changed. Surely it would be insane to not at least look at some other influences out there that we haven't looked at so far to actually help the issue.

Let me be clear in this, in this hideous crime Maori are over represented, but it is not "almost all exclusively Maori" as people like Michael Laws would have you believe. In fact former Child Commissioner Ian Hassall says “Roughly the same number of Maori and non-Maori children are killed in New Zealand.”

I want 2011 for me to be a year of looking at issues from angles that are currently not spoken about, and while I pray this doesn't minimize the terrible tragedy of children being killed, I think it's time to look at why this is happening. We can continue to bleat, and finger point, and as I heard John Tamihere say today, do "slit your wrist talkback"...but none of that helps the issue.

I do not take away any of the responsibility that has fallen upon the shoulders of the Maori Community to address this over representation in this crime...or any other for that matter, however I, as a citizen of this country, want to see these kinds of problems solved...and what we are doing at the moment is not working.

I want to see research on child abuse in areas of poverty and lack of eduation. I wouldn't be surprised, taking Michael Law's premise, that child abuse is almost all exclusively and issue of poverty and those lacking in education. And because Maori make up the biggest party of the poor and undereducated in this country, of course they are going to be represented highly in these figure.

You don't hear of many educated, wealthy Maori killing their kids do you?

Looking at this from a different angle prompts me to think that if we address poverty and education amongst the most vulnerable in society...maybe this would be a way to address these kinds of problems....maybe.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Do we really want a Center governement?

I wonder sometimes if what we say we want...is actually what we want in politics.

It seems that what we hear over and over again is the viable third party...a party for all New Zealand, a party that represents the majority of us, a Centrist Party!

John Key is a very centrist politician...in some areas he is more left that Labour and in other areas he is very right. I interviewed him last year and he described himself as socially liberal and fiscally conservative. He is somewhat left, somewhat right...he is in fact as close as we've seen to a centrist politician in quite a while.

Here's the problem, when you position yourself in the centre, it means you please a lot of people, but annoy many at the same time.

Ratifying the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, seen by many as a very left position to take. This has the possibility of alienating his traditional right supporter base. Also the rise of GST and changes to income tax, seen by many as a typical right government move but will this just confirm to the middle-left support base John Key may be gaining that nothing has changed?

When you are in the middle you are in danger of being a jack of all trade, but master of none.

If National annoys more people than it pleases they may be a one term government, if they please more than they annoy then they could be here for a while. And by looking at the polls right now you'd have to say that NZ is basically happy with a Center-Right Government with a Centrist Prime Minister