Please don’t make me side with the rednecks

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There was an opinion piece that I saw in my timeline today by NZHerald columnist Lizzie Marvelly about the disgusting case of Nikolas Delegat assaulting a female officer in Dunedin and receiving 300 hours of community service and paying $5,000 in reparations as his punishment.

Let me state this from the outset, I think the New Zealand justice system is imperfect, sometimes the threshold and directives for sentencing are too lenient and at other times they are too harsh. I also believe firmly that minorities, and especially Maori, are treated unfairly and disproportionately severely when sentenced as compared to non-Maori. Marvelly’s own NZ Herald, pointed this out earlier this week when it showed that “Maori imprisoned at twice rate of Europeans for same crime

So, if you read nothing else from this post, be aware that I am in the camp that thinks the Justice System is stacked against Maori and that often for others, especially the privileged, the system is too lenient.

The problem with Mavelly’s opinion piece is that the Nikolas Delegat case is not an example of that in the current system.

To be clear, I do think Delegat’s sentence is too lenient, but with the current stipulations for the crime he committed, he did not get special treatment because of his families wealth which is the main crux of Marvelly’s piece. This also means comparing it to other sentencing becomes problematic because Delegat’s sentence was proportionate, in the current Justice System’s climate, to his crime.

Lizzie Marvelly wrote about the difference between the sentence of Delegat to Hautahi Kingi, a young Maori boy in Whanganui in 2007 who, according to Marvelly. “attacked a male friend who had recently taken up with his girlfriend, causing a bloody nose and a cut lip”. The truth is, again according to Marvelly’s NZ Herald, is that with a friend “acted as street thugs engaging in street fighting. There was also an element of premeditation in that Kingi had sent threatening text messages to his intended victim the week before.” So according to the record it was a bit more than a off the cuff punch up.

Needless to say it appears to have been Kingi’s first offence so when he was sentenced to 5 months prison one could start to look at the bias inherent in the justice system where Maori are sent to prison and non-Maori are not, unfortunately for that narrative there was also another person who was sentenced with Kingi for four months…and my investigations point to him as being Pakeha. If my investigations are correct and the Kingi sentence was the inherent racism in the system, why was his friend also sentenced? On top of that the prison sentence was then overturned and both parties had their convictions quashed, and served 200 and 250 hours of community service. This means they actually got an easier sentence that Nikolas Delegat. What this points to is a rogue judge who tried to instill a sentence that was inappropriate, as opposed to the system being broken.

The truth is that Lizzie Marvelly and I, it would appear, are in the same camp when it comes to Maori being sentenced more harshly than ‘the rest’, but I said it on ODTtv this week, and I’ll say it again, this is not an example of that.

The maximum sentence that Nikolas Delegat could have received for this crime, under the current system, was 400 hours community service as experienced Christchurch defense lawyer Grant Tyrrell pointed out on RNZ National this week. He received 300 hours and had to pay $5,000 in reparations…based on the criteria for sentencing that is not a ‘slap on the wrist with a wet bus ticket’…that’s close to a maximum sentence.

If you now want to have a debate on the whole Justice system being too lenient and Mr. Delegat’s case being an example of that, then I am with you but please stop comparing this case, today, to the injustice that Maori face in NZ courts on a daily basis.

What Marvelly’s piece does is give oxygen to those who don’t want to acknowledge that Maori and treated more severely in the Justice System than non-Maori because, again, this is not an example of that. So what Marvelly’s good intentions do, is actually give all those rednecks and racists a valid comeback because in this instance she, and many others, have got it wrong. And what that leads me to do it sit on the same side of the argument as those disgusting people and I don’t want to be here, so please, please…I beg of you…stop it.

 

Honouring all New Zealanders this ANZAC Day

CoinHello team, I’m back for 2015, been a busy few months for me and mine as we’ve moved to Dunedin, I am hoping to blog once or twice a week from the Promised Land and I look forward to your input in 2015

I love, love, love the idea of a commemorative coin for the 2015 ANZAC Day celebrations but I have a question for the Reserve Bank…who are the soldiers on the just announced coin? I notice that there is a Maori design behind the soldiers, but it seems to me that the jaw lines and recognisable facial features of the soldiers seem very Caucasian.

Please correct me if I’m wrong (and I’d dearly love to be wrong) but it would appear to me, that in a country with a bi-cultural agreement we are celebrating two Pakeha soldiers and the Queen (on the other side).

If the designer of the coin could let us know who the soldiers are modelled on I’d happily withdraw my speculation, but from here that’s how it reads to me and if I am correct then someone needs to be educated about Maori who fought and spit their blood on the beaches of Gallipoli.

Again if I’m wrong please let me know so I can redress my observation as I certainly don’t want to cast aspersions.

See video of the making of the coins here or the official announcement here

Stand up NZ. Waitangi Day is your day!

To be honest, I cannot be bothered with people telling me that Waitangi Day is a day for Maori or a ‘waste of a day’ or anything else. Waitangi Day is our national day and you are the only person who can own it as such. The one group of people that piss me off more than any around Waitangi Day is the ones who choose not to celebrate it and blame Maori, or protests, or arguments or any other reason for them opting out.

I am sick of you.

If you love NZ, and consider yourself a NZer then you will celebrate Waitangi Day, our national day tomorrow, and if you find a reason not to, it you blame anyone else for taking away that sense of you and your national day, then I pity you.

‘Nuf said, here is a press release we worked on a couple of years ago that pretty much sums it up for me. Get a set of balls NZ and choose to celebrate your day.

Waitangi Day, a day for all Kiwi’s to celebrate

with a BBQ and a cold beer.

Self described Average-Joe Pat Brittenden is calling all New Zealanders to own their own national day and celebrate Waitangi Day with a good old Kiwi barbie. With the help of a Facebook page accessed via www.waitangiday.org.nz Pat is spreading his message of unity and railing against the apathy of so many New Zealanders towards Waitangi Day.

The Facebook page “Waitangi Day BBQ” challenges New Zealanders to ignore the bad press that seems to take over the headlines around Waitangi Day and celebrate the day as a day for all of us to come together and celebrate being kiwis.

Brittenden says it’s sad that a generation of people have settled for a sub-par national day, and that it has become no more or less special than any other day of the year.

“When people go to waitangiday.org.nz and ‘LIKE’ the page, it’s a way of saying ‘Yes, I’m going to own and to celebrate our national holiday!’” says Brittenden, “I want to challenge people who don’t usually do anything on February the 6th to do something. It could be a BBQ, a picnic, or a fishing trip, but the point is to do something positive to mark the day.”

Pat’s http://www.waitangiday.org.nz initiative has cross-party support with most political parties in the house.

These are some of the messages of support.

  • National Party: “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.” – The Right Honourable John Key – Prime Minister.
  • Labour Party: “…it is a day for all Kiwis to come together and celebrate a country that has much to offer its people.” – The Honourable Phil Goff – Leader of the Opposition.
  • Maori Party: “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.” – The Honourable Dr. Pita Sharples – Minister of Maori Affairs

These statements in full and also statements of support from the Honourable Jim Anderton and the Honourable Peter Dunne – Minister of Revenue can be found on www.averagejoe.co.nz

Facebook users who have liked the page have also said things like…

  • “This is the most sensible Idea”
  • “Hey Pat. One thing I’ve noticed in north America is how they celebrate their national days. Both Canada day here, and 4th of July south of the border are huge! It be awesome to see kiwis being a bit more patriotic and coming together to celebrate our national day!
  • “Luv it, United we stand divided we fall and if our backs should be against the wall we’ll be together you and I.. Make it a good day, spread happiness.”

Pat Brittenden wants New Zealanders to take their national day and own it, to make it a day of celebration for all Kiwis to come together around a BBQ and be thankful for this great country we live in.

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.