Friday, 21 November 2014

Email to the Prime Minister of Āotearoa.

Redmayne, Thomas, fl 1880s-1890s. Redmayne, Thomas, fl 1880s-1890s :Attack on the Maori Pah at Rangiriri. [1863].

This morning I sent an email to Āotearoa/New Zealand's wilfully ignorant Prime Minister. I sent it following his appalling comments on the history of our country reported on the 19th of November, 2014. ( I just had to mention the year, some people might have thought the article was dated 1914, such is the ignorance of the attitude displayed).
"When we talk about the treaty and sovereignty and all those matters, [Mr Key said] you take a step back and say well what was really happening. In my view New Zealand was one of the very few countries in the world that were settled peacefully. Maori probably acknowledge that settlers had a place to play and bought with them a lot of skills and a lot of capital," he says.

Dear Mr Key,

Just thought you might need a little bit of help with Aotearoa/New Zealand History.
Someone started a facebook page asking people to send you their history books, but me, I'm a cheapskate.

So below is a website.
"In all, there were an estimated 3000 casualties during the New Zealand Wars – the majority of them Māori. But for some Māori the wars were only the beginning, with land confiscation being the fate of many of the survivors. After the wars the struggle for land entered a new and, in some respects, more damaging phase, giving rise to a whole new chapter in New Zealand's history.
" (from the site)

I hope you realise that it is incredibly embarrassing to the people of this country to have a Prime Minister showing himself to be so incredibly ignorant.
Please up your game,

ka kite,
Liz Odell

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Roger Sutton and Sexism in The Workplace

I want to say that I am extremely disappointed in Roger Sutton because up until recently I thought him a decent bloke, but any man who can only use sexual innuendo when in conversation with women clearly sees women only as sexual objects, and not as fully-functioning human beings. We have an old bloke round our neighbourhood whom I am sure is perfectly harmless but every time you see him he has to comment about your attributes or refer to any group of women as his harem. This while his wife stands by his side - she smiles and says this is just how he is. Which reminds me of Roger Sutton's wife on tv saying similar stuff - this is just his way etc etc. It becomes old, it becomes tired, it becomes stale and as far as the local old feller goes, most of us avoid him now. 

But when you are at work, in your place of employment, when you need to work with these people, you can't avoid this kind of weary innuendo and as a woman (albeit a cranky old one now), you get fed up with it. It's not funny, it doesn't make you feel better or sexy even, it makes you feel objectified. It makes you feel like a thing. It is outright depressing. 

Roger Sutton did not own his behaviour in my eyes watching his so-called apology on the news, he down-played it, he was just a jokey bloke, he said, caught out in [a wee bit] of inappropriate behaviour. You other lads, you'd better watch out, eh. 

I say, you other lads, you should have learnt this stuff years ago, it's been a long time since the seventies when all this discussion first came to the fore. And given the stuff we are not told - we know Roger Sutton is charged with serious misconduct so he must have gone far further down the track than being a bit inappropriate. 

And here's another thing. While all this was being gone into, he got to stay at work while the woman complainant was sent home where she got to work in silent, gagged isolation. I will argue that this is an instance of institutionalised sexism, old boys club stuff. Why was it not the other way around? Why was Sutton not removed from all those other women in his office, left to put up with his "inappropriateness"?

"I'm not a victim," says Roger Sutton. "I've been seeing my psychologist." As though this is a crime against him. Words fail.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

My Final Assessment - A debate on Whaikōreo

this photograph, taken in 1950, of  Ngāti Porou leader Sir Āpirana Ngata giving a whaikōrero on the Raukawa marae at Ōtaki, on the centennial of the Rangiātea Church.

Over the last three years I have been working hard to learn to speak te reo Māori through Te Wananga o Āotearoa, something I have always wanted to be able to accomplish. I still have much to learn but at the end of this year, assuming I pass this next āromātawai (assessment), I will have earned myself a diploma of which I shall be very proud. This last āromātawai take place next Tuesday evening and comprises a debate about whaikōrero and whether it is alright to whaikōrero in English on the marae ātea, and whether Pākehā should be enabled to whaikōrero on the marae ātea? My rōpu take the negative side of the debate - we argue that te reo Māori is the only language that should be spoken on the marae ātea and that if Pākehā should be speaking on the marae ātea, that they should only do so if they are fluent in te reo, and understand Māori tikanga etc. It would, of course, not be me, if I did not introduce a feminist element to this debate. 

I am the second speaker, below is my speech. Underneath that is a Pākehā translation.

Tihēi mauriora!
Kia hiwa rā, kia hiwa rā!
Tēnā rā koe, Arama.
Tēnā rā koe, Gina.
Tēnā rā koutou.

Me ki tino he kaingakau atu nōku ki tō whaikōrero, heoi anō, kāore koe e puta he tautohenga ngoto! He koe kōnukenuke! He hē rawa!

Ki ōku nei whakaaro, i a tātou hitori pūwhenua he pānga tō tane Pākehā kei roto i ngā āhuatanga o ngā tane Māori, anake. Nō reira, e ai ki tēnei pānga, he rerekē te āhuatanga o te whaikōrero o ngā tane i te āhuatanga o te karanga o ngā wahine. 

He whaikōrero tino hirahira! He whaikōrero hikihikitia! He whaikōrero te tūnga o te whakataetaetanga, ināianei!

Engari, kei whea ngā tautohenga mo te karanga? Kei whea ngā tane i pirangi ki te karanga? Ki tōku mohiotanga - kahore!

Nā whai anā, ka kōrerotia te reo Pākehā e ngā Pirimia tane o Āotearoa i te marae atea. E ai ki ngā tangata Pākehā, kei te pai! E ai ki ngā tangata Māori, kāore ahau i te mohio?

Nō reira, whakaturia rawa mai e tātou katoa ō tātou Pirimia wahine, timata tonu rekareka! He aha ia i kōrero ai i te marae ātea, ā, kāore e taea e te wahine Māori? He aha ngā Mīnita Pākehā i kōrero ai i te marae ātea, ā, kāore e taea e te wahine Māori? Ka ngakau-hihiko i ngā wahine Māori!

Mai i tōku māramatanga Pākehā ake, ki ōku nei whakaaro ko te reo Māori anake i kōrero i te marae ātea mākūare ki ngā ira tangata. 

Ki tā motuhenga, "Whaikōrero", āhea te Kaikorero ka kōrero anō i te reo Māori, kāore e mārama e waru-tekau paihēneti o ngā tangata. Me kōrero ia ngā pakitara. Ka pouri tātou.

Ki tā Alison, me kōrero te whaikōrero i te reo Pākehā i te marae ātea! He aha te tikanga o tērā? Ki tānā, he kai-roto i ngā tangata katoa, ā, ka harikoa katoa i te mara! Ehara i te tika!

He aha te marae ātea? He wahi tū o te reo Māori! He wahi rerenga mo te reo Māori! He wahi rānga-wairua! He wahi o te reo Māori ātaahua, ka kōrero te reo Māori, ka rongo tātou te reo Māori ātaahua! 

Mā te whakarongo te mārama. Mā te pātai te mohio. Mā te ako te mohio. 

E tika ana te kōrero i o tātou tupuna, "kaua mā te waewae tūtuki, engari, mā te ūpoku pākaru".

E ai ki tōku rōpu, ka riro mā ia tangata e tiaki te reo Māori. Ka riro mā tātou katoa e ako. Ka riro mā tātou katoa e akona ā tātou tamariki.

Ka riro mā ngā kura e akona ā tātou tamariki, hoki. Nā te mea, i haina Te Tiriti o Waitangi, ka riro mā te kawanatanga e utu ngā rauemi mo akona te reo Māori.

Ano, e tikia ana te kōrero i ō tātou tupuna, " He manga wai koia kia kore e whitikia".

Kia ora.

Greetings everyone,

I must say I really enjoyed your speech, however, you have not produced a telling argument. A crooked paddle - that's too bad!

To my thinking, in our colonial history, the interest of the English male was only in the roles of male Māori. Therefore according to that interest, the role of male whaikōrero is different to that of the female karanga. Whaikōrero became more important. Whaikōrero elevated. Whaikōreo, now a site of contention.

After all, where is the argument over karanga? Where are the men desiring to karanga? To my knowledge there are none.

That's why the male Prime Ministers of Āotearoa speak in English on the marae ātea (the space in front of the wharenui). According to the Pākehā people, that's all good. According to the Māori people, I don't know. 

However, when we all eventually elected a female Prime Minister, that's when the fun began.

Why should she speak on the marae ātea and Māori women cannot? Why should Pākehā ministers speak on the marae ātea and Māori women cannot? Māori women are switched-on!

From my particular Pākehā perspective, I think the Māori language only should be spoken on the marae, regardless of the speaker's gender.  

According to the documentary "Wahikōrero", when the kaikōrero (speaker) speaks in te reo Māori, eighty percent of people don't understand. He might as well talk to the walls! That is sad. 

According to Alison [the speaker from the other group that I follow] English should be spoken on the marae ātea. What is the point of that? According to her, this will be inclusive for all and everyone will be happy in the garden! Not true!

What is the marae ātea? It is the place of standing for the Māori language. It is the place of refuge for the Māori language. The spiritual place. It is the place of the beautiful Māori language, the place to speak the beautiful Māori language, the place for us all to hear the Māori language spoken beautifully. 

Listen and you will understand. Ask and you will know. Learn and you will know. 

In the wise words of our ancestors, "Don't relinquish because of a mere maimed leg, rather, only give up if your injury is very severe, like a crushed head!"

According to our group, it is our responsibility to care for the Māori language. It is our responsibility to learn. It is our responsibility to teach our tamariki and our mokopuna.

Again, using the wise words of our ancestors, "It is a big river indeed that cannot be crossed. 

Kia ora. 

Monday, 13 October 2014

Blimmen Incompetent Females

Crikey! So ya can't have a female or a Māori deputy leader in the Labour Party rather than a white bloke 'cos "we need the most competent person" apparently David Shearer said on the redneck Paul Henry Show last night. (Yet another reason to not bother watching this programme if that's the level that discussion can reach on it). 

So what ya sayin' here Mr Shearer (or should that be Dr - ya know us females are so dumb eh) anyhow so whatcha be sayin' is that females or Māori of any gender, we just not as clever as you white blokes and ya wouldn't want us dumbing the show down eh. Man, and yet it is white blokes what brought the Labour Party down to it's knees in the last election, ya know. Ever since that white chick, Helen Clark left to go international and run some part of the wide world, those white blokes have been running the Labour Party downhill. 

Perhaps Ya wanna check out the Green Party to see how it's done, whatcha reckon, eh?

Friday, 3 October 2014

Oh Happy Day

I've been feeling quite saddened and depressed since our Election Day last month with such a large slide of voters over to the right wing National Party on the back of the huge slump of support to the Labour Party. It had appeared that the National Party had managed to achieve 61 seats which (although this made for a slim majority) would have meant that the National Party would have had the ability to govern alone without even the need for coalition partners which would have made an historic first since the MMP Voting System had been introduced. Right wing commentators have lauding that one up, sickening eh. 

But no more. The writing is on the wall. Today the Final Count has been released and we, the Green Party of Aotearoa, have achieved an extra seat, bringing our count of seats up to 14. Which is the same as last year. And our extra seat has been achieved at the expense of the National Party; they now have dropped from 61 seats to 60 which means they have lost that majority and now must have coalition partners in order to govern. 

And the Green Party have polled the third highest! 

There is a challenge here people. The Green Party is less than 15% behind Labour. Is it time that we became the main opposition party? Could we do that before the next election? 

Final election result

National: 47.04% (60 seats)
Labour: 25.13% (32 seats)
Green: 10.70% (14 seats)
New Zealand First: 8.66% (11 seats)
Maori Party: 1.32% (2 seats)
Act Party: 0.69% (1 seat)
United Future: 0.22% (1 seat)
Conservative: 3.97% (0 seats)
Internet Mana: 1.42% (0 seats)

Friday, 26 September 2014

Back To The Left

On Facebook my attention was drawn to this article Drawing The Poison which states  “That’s because the poison that the Douglas faction injected into the Labour Party has never fully worked its way out of the Party’s system – for a simple reason: It has festered in the huge, dry crack the Douglas faction opened between the Labour Party caucus and the Labour Party itself. That’s still the fracture that won’t heal, the wound in Labour’s flesh in which the bitter poison pools.”
See, I’m old enough to remember the Labour Party as it was before Roger Douglas was Minister of Finance, and I have been thinking along these lines although definitely not so well articulated. Labour was and should be a workers party, a proper left wing party, a party which was supposed to improve the lives of people who work for a wage and, sorry, but that includes the so-called middle class, most of whom are still wage earners actually (just hold more credit cards is all).
So higher wages, job security, 40 hour working weeks, pensions and other safety nets for people – that was what Labour was about. And decent living conditions. And State Owned Assets which means assets we all owned. And that was the egalitarian ideal before Rogernomics created the so called class divides, the driving down of wages, the miserable subsistence benefit levels, and the selling off of property which we all owned.
Labour with Roger Douglas calling the shots started it all, National through the nineties further entrenched the misery, Life softened a bit under Helen Clark’s leadership BUT as this article suggests – those structural changes may well have been plastered over, swept under the carpet, and now the poison has reared its ugly head for all to see.
So I argue that Labour needs to go back to its grassroots as a true working (wage earner) class party and start from there. Why is this important to the Green Party? Because if the Green Party need to align ourselves to a strong left party in order to become part of government, then we need a much stronger Labour Party.
OR – we now position ourselves to become that STRONG PARTY OF THE LEFT OURSELVES. Which is very much what our main policies of the last election are leaning towards.

Last Summer's Garden Pics

So I came onto this site just yesterday for the first time in ages and posted yesterdays post which was actually on another site - a Kiwi site in fact - but then Doug told me non-kiwis couldn't register on that Kiwi site - hence the repeat of the post here (draws breath). Anyhow I realised how long it was since I had posted here when I found this draft sitting on my post list since December, 2013. Posting it now because I think its pretty, this is my back garden that I am leaving to go to Christchurch. Looking at pictures like this I am not sure how I am going to do it but I must because I have signed a "conditional" offer on this house. I especially like this first picture of this lovely flax bush which I rescued from a neighbours house, she had had her dad pull it out. Love the colour of these flax flowers.

Variegated phornium (NZ Flax) (Harakeke). The bees love these flowers as do the native birds!

Already this apple tree is laden with apples despite the wild northwest winds we have been enduring. Tree is three years old and this will be the first time I will get to taste its apples (touch wood).

Strawberry plants (fruit just beginning to turn red), sage, spuds, chives, silver beet, calendula. And my garden seat.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Comforting Lies

It was the morning after. I was in shock. Like so many others I think.
So many of us, we were hoping for so much, hoping for a change of government with the parties on the left having the ability to work together for better government – for the chance to clean up the rivers of Āotearoa – for the opportunity to rebuild a fairer society here, where our children do not go hungry in our resource-rich land – and to focus on developing a cleaner, greener, and smarter economy.
Yeah, ok, I get that I sound a bit like a Green Party Leaflet. And yes, I often write long sentences.  If you are going to read my posts here, it is something to get used to.
So here we are, five days after Election Day and still I am struggling with how come so many other people voted for a corrupted right-wing government with a leader who has already been shown up as a liar. This is not the Aotearoa I thought I knew. This is not the Aotearoa I grew up with.
Thus I am blogging again – to communicate my horror – to explore this new reality.