The Pakeha Party

TPPI was going to write a piece on the Pakeha Party, but I have to say that a post by Steve Tollestrup on his Facebook page has pretty much summed it up for me, so why reinvent the wheel.

The Pakeha party is not a giggle.

Growing this evening at a rate of 3000 per hour on facebook ( up to 30,000 at time of writing ) the Pakeha Party is really about privileged white people trying to protect their patch. Harmless fun and satire? Go to the facebook page and you’ll find the Pakeha Party considers itself a viable political force that will soon have policies. The Pakeha party is just one giggle away from becoming the NZ equivalent of the British National Front party and is certainly bigotry cloaked as ‘Friends on Facebook.’

There is such a thing as positive discrimination and rightful restitution that recognises the undermining of Maori well-being through colonisation and close to a hundred and fifty years of alienation – marginalisation and oppression that the ‘Friends’ of the Pakeha party haven’t faced.

I’m not sure the Pakeha Party have thought through their infantile motto

‘If Maori get it we want it too – no matter what.’

But OK, if they really mean that, let’s begin. This is what Maori get; shorter life expectancy, lower per capita income, poorer housing, 4 times more likely to receive a conviction with a longer sentence, higher unemployment, land confiscation, higher incidence of diabetes, higher infant mortality, lower educational achievement, higher per capita mental illness, and addiction, dismal child health.

As a Christian and as a Green party spokesperson I find that appalling. In other parts of the world those same statistics have translated into conflict and violence. I think we Pakeha should be thankful for Maori patience and Aroha. Like it or not sometimes it takes a little extra to make things right. I look forward to a day when it is no longer needed, but unfortunately that day is yet to arrive, and the rise of Pakeha Party is part of the proof it hasn’t.

To my Maori brothers and sisters I say that I am ashamed.

If nothing else the one part of Steve’s post that I’d really like to bring your attention to is the stats for Maori

This is what Maori get; shorter life expectancy, lower per capita income, poorer housing, 4 times more likely to receive a conviction with a longer sentence, higher unemployment, land confiscation, higher incidence of diabetes, higher infant mortality, lower educational achievement, higher per capita mental illness, and addiction, dismal child health.

If you really want what Maori have, and all they ‘have’ then this is where you may end up.

Many sectors in society have ‘rules’ or ‘advantages’ just for them like over 65’s, like under 6’s like students, like the poor, like the rich, like those with children, like ethnicities (as in grants for tertiary study) but we seem to ignore all those and go straight to how unfair it is that Maori get advantages in some arenas. Get truly consistent, or get over yourself.

James Takamore will never be buried in Christchurch

This story has been going on nigh on 5 years and I am sad to inform you that James Takamore will never be buried where he wished to spend his eternity, in Christchurch.

After Mr Takamore died in 2007, his whanau from the Eastern Bay of Plenty claimed his body and took it north to bury him – according to their custom – at Kutarere Marae, against the wishes of Ms Clarke. She launched a legal fight to have his body returned to Christchurch, where he had lived for 20 years with her and their two children.

In July 2009, the High Court ruled that the relatives who had taken Mr Takamore’s body had done so unlawfully.

Why was he taken

…the burial of Maori deceased was governed by Maori tikanga (customary practices), because Maori custom was part of common law in New Zealand.

I am sad to tell you this not because I agree, or disagree with, the action of ‘ body snatching…in fact if you speak with many Maori they often take quite a light hearted stance over the event that many non-Maori take as abhorrent.

I have heard stories about bodies being taken ‘up North’ but in the journey the snatchers getting hungry so driving through McDonalds Orewa with a coffin on the roof of the car, I have heard stories about snatchers creeping into a room full of sleeping people on all fours to remove a body…when you hear some Maori speak about it they laugh almost like it’s a game…and I think some take it as that, albeit a very serious game, but if you don’t honour the body by staying with it, awake for 24 hours a day…then they’ll take it and do the job.

The reason I am saddened by the fact that James Takamore will never be buried in Christchurch is that my sources tell me that the body has already been moved, in other words even if the Supreme Court rule in favour of Mr. Takamore’s Christchurch family only a couple if people know where he is now buried and they won’t reveal it.

My sources tell me that shortly after he was first buried, his body was dug up and moved to a new location that only a couple of people know about.

Parity in celebrations

We often hear people saying “I wish we’d celebrate Waitangi Day, like those Aussie’s celebrate Australia Day.” Well now we do ;o)

It’s not about Race or Age or Gender or Religion…it’s about Poverty

For a long time I have had a bit of an untested theory. I’ve come to a place where I don’t think the negative statistics in New Zealand are about race, age, gender or religion.  I think they’re about poverty and the by products of poverty.

Let me back up a little and give you an example of a common ‘talkback’ conversation.

The headline reads something like, “Another baby dies at the hands of its caregivers.” This is what happens on talkback; ‘Owen’ from Nelson phones in as this is his pet topic. Within 60 seconds ‘Owen’ has already told New Zealand to “wait and see…they’ll be native…their whanau will support them…you just wait.” Now sadly ‘Owen’ is right far too often, but is his underlying racist bias accurate? Is being Maori a significant factor in killing your kids? That’s where I think the conversation becomes interesting.

I would put to you that being Maori is not as much of an issue in this as many may think. Let me ask you this question. How many wealthy, well educated Maori (or any race) are killing their kids? The answer is, “Not many…if any!”

So if being Maori means you’re over represented in our sad statistics, why are not wealthy, well educated Maori over represented in this, or any, negative social issue?

Poor Maori over represented…wealthy, educated Maori not…hmmmm.

Just for context, contrary to some commentators child abuse is not an issue exclusive to Maori as I demonstrate in this post on my old blog ironically posted exactly one year ago to the day. In there you can read that former Child Commissioner Ian Hassall says…

“Roughly the same number of Maori and non-Maori children are killed in New Zealand.”

Martyn Bradbury came to  the same conclusion in a post in the middle of last year.

No one is arguing that Maori are not over represented, but my question is, “Why?”

Well lets look at another people group.

How many European/Pakeha/White (whatever word takes your fancy) are in these negative statistics? How many Pakeha lawyers or Doctors kill their kids? Again I think you’ll find the answer is, “Not many…if any!” What about Pakeha in poverty, the underclass, white trash…those guys…how do they feature in the negative statistics? Well coming back to my first point, without having had the research or data in front of me, I have assumed, and many of you would agree, that they would be over represented in those statistics, especially compared to their wealthy, educated Pakeha counterparts. I think that is a fair and safe assumption.

Well it has been an assumption…until now.

Today has seen a longitudinal paper released which has followed over 1,200 people for 30 years. The study looked at children born in Christchurch who grew up in either poor, or rich, families

Those from poor families were more likely to leave school without qualifications, have babies before they were 20, commit crimes, go on welfare and have addiction and other mental health problems in adulthood.

Most of these effects were explained by factors which tended to vary in line with family incomes, such as parents’ education, addictions, criminality and marital conflict and breakup, and the children’s own intelligence.

But study director Professor David Fergusson said the effects of childhood income on later educational and career achievement persisted even after allowing for all other factors

So if you grew up poor, you tended to stay poor. If you were poor you were also a much higher chance of being a part of those negative statistics we were talking about earlier. The key factor here is that this extensive study shows us that the main contributing factor to being a part of negative statistic in society is poverty and the by-products of that poverty. Not race.

It also showed that if you were raised in a poorer family you were also more likely to have mental health issues.

The study asked detailed questions about people’s lives which also enabled the researchers to diagnose whether they had depression, anxiety disorder, drug or alcohol addictions or anti-social behaviour.

On average, those from poor families had slightly more of these disorders than those from rich families.

Here are some of the key findings of the report

Almost 40 per cent of those in the poorest fifth of families left school without qualifications, compared with fewer than 10 per cent of those in the richest fifth.

A third of those from the poor families but fewer than a tenth of those from rich families fell pregnant, or got someone pregnant, before they were 20.

A third of those from poor families, but only a sixth from rich families, committed a violent or property crime between the ages of 18 and 30.

20 per cent of those from poor families, but only 4 per cent from rich families, spent some time on welfare before they were 30.

Those from poor families earned an average of just under $40,000 a year by age 30, while those from rich families averaged $60,000.

I wrote earlier in this post that “being Maori is not as much of an issue in this as many may think” but it does impact these negative statistics, but not because they are Maori… because so many Maori are ‘poor’.

What the mainstream media needs to understand, and needs to address, is that these issues, these negative statistics in our society, issues like crime, mental health issues, physical health issues, low education, addiction, incarceration are issues of poverty and the by products of poverty, are not issues of race, age, gender, religion or anything else.

Why are Maori over represented in these statistics…because they are over represented in ‘being poor.’ If more of them are poor…then more of them come up in the negative statistics.

So do we solve this problem?

Well I firmly believe that we cannot solve any problem until we acknowledge the issue and seeing as mainstream NZ would try to convince us these are issues of race…or religion…or age…then we are doomed to keep this sad cycle of negative social statistics going.

Let’s acknowledge the problem, then maybe together we can find a solution.

TVNZ lead again with Destiny Church

I have to say again that the news seems slow at the moment. I don’t mean that disrespectfully to Destiny, but this doesn’t seem to be a story news worthy of leading our largest source of daily news.

Is it a story? Yes! Is it interesting? Yes again! Is it something to be concerned about and spun how media outlets are portraying at the moment? Hell No!

The story is…Destiny Church purchases land to build a community on…that’s it.

I wrote about this last week saying something similar and then Richard Lewis from Destiny tweeted me.




I tweeted Richie back, and I’ll say it again here. Yes, that tweet is a very newsworthy story…but that’s not the story that the media is telling us about. We are being told to be wary of Destiny. Why? It is being inferred that something is wrong here. What? It’s being hinted at that the wool is being pulled over peoples eyes. How?

Tonight on TVNZ the lead story was “Brian Tamaki suggests the government gives him money, instead of building more prisons.”

The truth is, Destiny Church…or any group…who follows the rules, ticks the boxes, crosses the t’s, dots the i’s is eligible for funding from the government to start a school, or run programmes to keep people out of prison. Why the immediate mistrust when Brian Tamaki’s name gets mentioned?

Again I’ll say it, I don’t agree with everything that Brian Tamaki says, or everything that Destiny believes, but there is no question that Destiny does some good work in the community.

Would you rather live next door to a Destiny Church member…or a gang member?

I hope that all we say tonight was a slow news night, because if TVNZ and TV3 are going to chase this non-angle (is that better Richie?) all year until Destiny takes possession of the property in December it’ll make for pretty boring news.

Being arrested for using racist taunts…I’m not for it.

In the UK at the moment you can be arrested for using racial insults. Now I find racism abhorrent, the idea that one person believes themselves better than anyone else because of the colour of their skin, or what culture they come from is not only loathsome but ludicrous. Often examples of such cretins who believe in racist theories are plainly at the bottom end of any kind of human ‘ranking system’, which just negates their argument even more, however the idea of being arrested for being a bigoted ignoramus doesn’t sit well with me.

Maybe it comes down to the difference between being a racist, and using a racial slur. Splitting hairs you might say…well I would challenge any person who has not, at some stage, for some reason, put themselves above a person of another race momentarily.  Maybe you’ve rolled you’re eyes when hearing a foreign language at your supermarket and thought, “You’re in NZ now, speak English!” Maybe you’ve been cut off when driving and thought, “Bloody Asian drivers!” Maybe you’ve been extra watchful of a Maori in a public place because, “All Maori are criminals!” Does that make you a racist….or someone who has had a racist thought? Is there any difference?

There are already a couple of examples in English soccer of players being charged with racism, not just by their governing body, but by the police, and the latest example has seen a 20 year old spectator arrested on suspicion of a racially aggravated public order offence.

Now I could go down the extremely weak “freedom of speech” argument, but as we all know there is not such thing as freedom of speech. My discomfort with the idea of being arrested for being a 20 year old moron, who doesn’t understand the issue at hand, is two fold.

Firstly is will not eliminate racism, to me if this is an issue that English soccer is trying to stamp out it would seem more appropriate and perhaps more effective to then ban that spectator from entering any stadiums in the future (however from what I know of the English soccer fan the stadiums may soon be pretty empty in some parts of the UK).

Secondly, and more importantly, I have a concern as to the precedence this is setting. Bigotry and discrimination comes in all forms, against all areas of life. There are 6 main areas of discrimination, none of which are seen any differently in a court of law. You cannot discriminate against race, sexual orientation, gender, age, religion and disability. Of course there are many more such as ‘height-ism’ but these 6 are the main group, and the most common you would see in a court of law. So if in a court of law, these 6 are seen as equally wrong my question is, “Where to from here?”

If this is the precedence that the UK is setting for racism, what is to follow for discrimination and bigotry against age, religion, gender, disabilities and sexual orientation. I don’t know about you but I’ve heard some pretty crass and shocking things shouted out about people in all those categories of life…do we arrest and charge anybody verbally participating in offensive language to all those individuals as well.

Now I realise this is a fairly defeatist post as I don’t have a solution, I think I am just saying that I don’t think you can ‘arrest’ the racism out of people. But then what can you do?