Brian Edwards Media

An addendum to “Oh dear, Paul, were you drunk when you penned this racist diatribe?”

NZ News.Yahoo.com

In this morning’s Herald Paul Holmes offered a reply to the criticism of his column on Waitangi Day. It read:

‘Not that I’ve felt too much respite this week. But if you dish it out, I’ve always said, then you’ve got to be able to take it. But, my gosh. How dare I suggest there is anything negative about the way we commemorate Waitangi Day or suggest that the annual agitation there is putting many people off caring two hoots about it. From the reaction of some you’d think I’d called for the annihilation of a people.

‘But let me tell you this. While the objections to what I said have been strident, so has the support for what I wrote been immense. I’ve never had such reaction to a column nor had so much unsought support or affirmation. And I would suggest that what I wrote is what most people think but don’t dare say.’

There’s a degree of revisionism in the sentence: ‘How dare I suggest there is anything negative about the way we commemorate Waitangi Day or suggest that the annual agitation there is putting many people off caring two hoots about it.’ This implies some esoteric quibble with ‘the way we commemorate Waitangi Day.’ But the original was rather more strident:

‘Waitangi Day produced its usual hatred, rudeness, and violence against a clearly elected Prime Minister from a group of hateful, hate-fuelled weirdos who seem to exist in a perfect world of benefit provision. This enables them to blissfully continue to believe that New Zealand is the centre of the world, no one has to have a job and the Treaty is all that matters…

‘Well, it’s a bullshit day, Waitangi. It’s a day of lies. It is loony Maori fringe self-denial day. It’s a day when everything is addressed, except the real stuff. Never mind the child stats, never mind the national truancy stats, never mind the hopeless failure of Maori to educate their children and stop them bashing their babies. No, it’s all the Pakeha’s fault. It’s all about hating whitey. Believe me, that’s what it looked like the other day…

‘No, if Maori want Waitangi Day for themselves, let them have it. Let them go and raid a bit more kai moana than they need for the big, and feed themselves silly, speak of the injustices heaped upon them by the greedy Pakeha and work out new ways of bamboozling the Pakeha to come up with a few more millions.’ 

This seems rather more to me than merely ‘suggesting there is anything negative about Waitangi Day’. And I’m not aware of any commentary that implied, let alone said that Paul was calling for ‘the annihilation of a people’. Hyperbole masquerading as argument.

Then we have the defence of mass support: ‘I’ve never had such reaction to a column nor had so much unsought support or affirmation.’  Unfortunately this tells us nothing about the merits of the original argument. It merely tells us that significant numbers of people agreed with that argument, right or wrong. If I’m right and the propositions put forward in Paul’s piece are essentially racist, then all one can conclude is that the expression or racist ideas finds widespread favour in New Zealand.

And finally: ‘I would suggest that what I wrote is what most people think but don’t dare say.’ This was Paul Henry’s defence to all the offensive and hurtful things he said about his guests on Breakfast. ‘Bugger the superego, this is the id speaking. Deep down we’re all racists.’  Which may well be true, but rings a bit hollow when you’re claiming to take the moral high ground.

Do I think Paul is a racist? No. It doesn’t really fit the man I know, admittedly only passingly. But I think, as others have thought, that he failed to make the distinction between ‘Maori’ and the Waitangi protestors sufficiently clear in his column and the outcome was that the piece bore all the hallmarks of racist dog-whistling. Rather than defending what he had written, it might have been be better just to say ‘Whoops!’

, ,

43 Comments:

  1. what I find most dissapointing about the “unsought support or affirmation” for Mr Homes racist, reactionary diatribe, is the level of underlying racism that still exists in our wee country. Another example being the resistance to the Chinese attempt to purchase the insolvent, derelict Crafar farms when there has been little ‘push back” to the vastly greater sales to the English/ American/ Australian sales.
    Pick at an old scab and watch the puss spurt out.

  2. I’ve said my piece and given my analysis on the previous post. So far I’ve seen no refutation but merely repeated assertions that Holmes is racist and claims all Maori beat their babies and fail to educate their children – though it is clear he is just referring to the well-known bad statistics.

    Neither do I think the reaction was from a racist dog-whistle. The reaction was from a majority from all races who are fed-up with a small minority appropriating and degrading our national day. That majority feels so deeply alienated and disgusted they want absolutely nothing to do with Waitangi Day in its present form.

    It has nothing to do with any prejudice against Maori. It is prejudice against those very few Maori who are exploiting and abusing Waitangi Day and the Treaty.

  3. Brian Edwards, for a very long time I have had a lot of time for the positions you have taken, and the elegant use of the English language you have used when expressing those positions. Prime example: your insightful reaction to the unseemly witch-hunt by the popular media and its dupes against Alastair Thompson. I am therefore more than a little disappointed that you have on this occasion stooped to use the hackneyed term “racist” against Paul Holmes, when you must know he is nothing of the sort. Like so many NZers, he simply seems to be frustrated beyond patience by the self-serving, thuggish antics of the most visible of the Maori oafs who blight Waitangi Day with their ridiculous 170-year old largely bogus grievances.

    BE: I have never said Holmes was racist. I said his column on Waitangi Day expressed racist views. I wondered whether he might have been drunk when he wrote it. And I allowed for the possibility that he had failed to clearly distinguish his views on the protestors from his views on Maori in general. It was at best an intemperate and ill-judged piece.

  4. Dr Rawiri Taonui says about Holmes: “He generalises all Maori as child bashers. There is a serious problem when between 2002 and 2006, 28 Maori kids were killed. We know their names. But who remembers the names of the 48 Pakeha children who suffered a similar fate?” http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/6443334/Anger-at-Holmes-Waitangi-remarks

    I don’t believe that Holmes was characterising all Maori as child bashers, though his comment was certainly unhelpful. Nevertheless, the rate of child homicide among Maori is considerably higher than among non-Maori. “For the period 1978–1987 the difference between the mean child homicide rates for Maori (1.05 per 100,000 per year) and non-Maori (0.92) is not statistically significant. However, for the period 1991–2000 the difference between the Maori rate (2.40 per 100,000 per year) and non-Maori rate (0.67) is highly significant. … while the overall rate of child homicide in the general population has remained relatively constant over time, there have been notable changes in the rates for Maori and non-Maori populations. A slight fall in the rate of non-Maori child homicide victimisation was offset by a large increase in the victimisation rate for Maori children.” http://www.occ.org.nz/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/6789/OCC_LivesCutShort_111107.pdf

    It was reported last year that: “Pakeha kill as many of their children as Maori, although Maori were the ‘face of abuse’ in the media. … almost 9000 children were victims of physical abuse between 2000 and 2008, yet only 21 became publicly recognised names. Only one-third of child deaths were reported in the media, and they were predominantly Maori cases.” http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/5338700/Maori-child-abuse-disproportionately-high-Minister

  5. I wish leading Maori could somehow accept that the behaviour of a few at Waitangi is offensive and hurtful to many New Zealanders. Perhaps Mr Harawera could also acept that some of his comments in the past have been less than helpful.

    When they accept that perhaps we can move on and understand that each side has feelings that are hurt by intemperate behaviour and remarks.

    The problem at the moment is a gulf between Maori and Pakeha which noone seems capable of bridging. Some consideration and good manners from both parties would not go amiss.

  6. Ben, regrettably many “leading Maori” are on a Treaty gravy train that pays money simply for being Maori. 99.9% of Maori enjoy no such privileges.

    Those that depend on it will never give up the resentments and grievances that fund their lifestyle, nor the privileges claimed from the Treaty which are unearned but inherited from any mistreatment they can discover befell their ancestors.

    Like Pakistan manipulating Afghanistan, their aim is to keep the pot simmering nicely so the money keeps flowing. They have no wish to see protests end.

  7. where are you going with that ross? back to wishy washy land.
    children are killed usually when they are in a benefit receiving home(sick making nisnomer, that word benefit- misery funded by the taxpayer for a large voiceless sector of the community – kids, of course – ripe to be manipulated, eh.) most often without their biological father living in the home.
    drugs are a problem if you are a baby. you may be born with withdrawal symptoms (my sister in law has been a nurse in these baby units and she says its heartwrenching to care for these tiny tortured babies) or you live as a baby, toddler or child in incontinent fear – another adult reason to bash and kill the sweeties.
    anyway – if maori, as a group (frustrating for largely loving maori families), are represented strongly in these stats- getting into maori with a stick like holmes has done is not an intelligent way forward. venting your frustration is understandable but really what physical discomfort does paul holmes suffer for how things are panning out? who does his rant help?
    back to ross. its the kids that are paying for clumsy, cash-for-baby-production policy. kids get the punishment – and as i hear the stampede coming, i’m not on a public money saving binge, i’m for targetted funding. low base rates – generous top ups for regular child doctors visits, attending parent meetings, enrolling your kids in freely provided sports or arts groups, helping coach teams, ensuring your kids attend preschool – you know – CHILD benefits.power to effective parenting. parents being accountable for their children’s loving care.
    naiive, you say. The hand that rocks the cradle …..
    its better than an unconsciously pompous holmes ensconscing himself as grandaddy of the nation, giving out his idea of a well deserved telling off to one segment of the community.

  8. So true Ross @8:30. There is a serious problem when between 2002 and 2006, 28 Maori kids were killed. We know their names. But who remembers the names of the 48 Pakeha children who suffered a similar fate?”
    Who indeed. If we say that twice as many Pakeha kids get killed as Maori kids, the reaction is usually, ‘Rubbish. Your’e lying. If that was so it would be in all the papers.” It’s still appalling that any kid dies this way but MSM has a lot to answer for, and Holmes exacerbates the perception.

  9. Ianmac, there is a missing word, “proportionately”, from your analysis. It makes a difference.

    However, there seems to be a lot of conflict in the statistics: http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/5338700/Maori-child-abuse-disproportionately-high-Minister

    “nine out of the last 12 children killed by abuse were from Maori families.”

    http://www.occ.org.nz/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/6789/OCC_LivesCutShort_111107.pdf

    “For the period 1978–1987 the difference between the mean child homicide rates for Māori (1.05 per 100,000 per year) and non-Māori (0.92) is not statistically significant. However, for the period 1991–2000 the difference between the Māori rate (2.40 per 100,000 per year) and non-Māori rate (0.67) is highly significant.”

    I suspect that the data suffers from being both subjective (who is Maori?) and incomplete (under-reporting, mis-identification). I’m also sceptical of the claim there is media bias in reporting. More likely media focus on the most horrific cases – and these do tend to be Maori. Another possibility is that parental mental illness is often involved but not consistently identified.

  10. this is nonsense Brian. It reminds me of your previous unjustified attack on John Campbell. A similar MO in both cases, first praise for being an excellent journalist and broadcaster, then an all out assault. I can find nothing racist in Paul’s article. And to employ a familiar tactic, I’d also add that I usually don’t like the greasy little dwarf Holmes. Paul and Hone have at least one thing in common, they’re both narcissists. But clearly when Paul writes of a “group of hateful, hate-fuelled weirdos” or a “loony Maori fringe” he is not referring to all Maori. That should be obvious if you take the entire article in context. Of course those with an agenda might deliberately choose to interpret it otherwise. But I’m just not sure what your agenda might be Brian? Now if someone did identify as Maori I would agree that it is possible they could be offended by some of it. That’s too bad. It still doesn’t make it racist. No more racist than what I heard on radiosport talkback following the Black Caps test win over Aussie (in which there was some controversy concerning the awarding of MotM). On this occasion the goon hosting the show spent the entire three hours rabbiting on about Aussies being bad sports, Aussies being sore losers, Aussies being cheats and Aussies being convicts. “It’s in their DNA” I believe was his explanation. Was that racist too? No, just juvenile and offensive. A similar accusation could be made of the Holmes article.

    BE: This isn’t an argument, it’s just a statement of disagreement. As for Paul, I’m not sure which he would think worse – being accused of having made racist remarks in one of his columns (I have never called him a racist) or being referred to as a “greasy little dwarf” and a narcissist.

    Your comment about the remarks made by the sports jock about the Aussies not being racist, makes it clear that you set the bar for defining racism extremely high. I’m wondering just what you would define as a racist remark.

    And John Campbell? Well, his interview with Ken Ring was a disgrace. I said so in no uncertain terms. He subsequently apologised. I then wrote a further post entitled ‘A Gracious Apology from John Cambell’ in which I said:

    “At the top of his programme tonight, John Campbell made a gracious, fulsome and patently sincere apology for the tenor of his interview with Ken Ring last night. I am very aware that such apologies are not easy for broadcasters and I congratulate John for making it. He made a mistake that almost certainly reflected his experiences over the last week of the suffering of the people of Christchurch and his concern that they should not be subjected to further and possibly unnecessary anxiety.

    For my part, I believe that my critique of his performance on this occasion was justified, but the manner in which it was expressed may not have been. Like John himself, I was angry. This matter should now, I believe, be put to rest. Lessons have been learned on both sides.”

    You probably didn’t think that admission on my part was relevant.

  11. I saw the Campbell melt-down Ring “interview” and it was so unbelievably bad it was tragicomic. You could hardly believe your eyes watching it. Nevertheless, the apology sufficed entirely. Nobody wanted Campbell sacked.

    The funniest sequel, though, was when Ring’s opponents pulled a stunt to discredit him and only succeeded in publicising a successful prediction. Moral: you can’t disprove a statistical fallacy with one event, no matter how media friendly.

    The truth, as far as I can determine, is that Ring’s predictions are a slight improvement on random chance. So neither completely false nor reliable enough to be useful. That was the message that Campbell should have taken on board and publicised. I rather suspect some extreme personal professional animosities got in the way of both objectivity and good manners.

  12. Alan @ 11:23 there is a missing word, “proportionately”, from your analysis. It makes a difference.”

    Come on Alan. I am not stupid. Of course there is a proportion at work but ask anyone to name the victims of child death, and you get almost exclusively the names of Maori kids. Are you suggesting that the double number of pakeha kids are so insignificant to escape notice? Everyone “knows” it is just Maori kids who get killed – don’t they?

  13. Ianmac, didn’t you read the rest of my comment? No, we don’t know (or think) it is just Maori kids that get killed but most of the evidence suggests a disproportionate number do.

    And it seems that the period covered makes a lot of difference. So people who just have recent history in mind have probably heard of the cases that produced the recent stats that Paula Bennett reported: 9 of 12 were Maori. No wonder they disbelieve your stats.

  14. Paul Holmes isn’t so much a racist as he is a culture war pig. It’s not just Maori and Africans – he also happens to play the ‘Elders of Mecca’ card from time to time. In effect, he’s become NZ’s very own Bill O’Reilly.

  15. And I should add that no one’s denying the scale of the problem. It’s just there’s a world of difference between a social problem that happens to involve a lot of Maori kids, and a Maori problem.

    Unfortunately some people can’t or won’t tell the difference, and Holmes seems to be exploiting that.

  16. How community minded of Holmes to be doing the silent casual racist masses a favour by speaking on their behalf. Come on, what a lazy ride NZ newspaper columnists get, thinking they’re doing their job by being controversial. It’s much, much harder to write well. If he was a satirist and tried to make the same point I’d have more respect for him.

  17. This –

    http://dimpost.wordpress.com/2012/02/18/tactical-retreat/

    and this

    http://bowalleyroad.blogspot.co.nz/2012/02/modern-mark-anthony.html

    add volumes to this conversation I believe.

    If he’s not a racist – in his cups – and he’s a really smart journalist and really too intelligent and nice to be so (personally i think of him as a performer – if not the grinder then the monkey) then there must be more going on yeah?

  18. Cnr Joe, you are right, both of those articles added volume to the conversation. But absolutely nothing of content. In fact less than nothing, as both simply misrepresented Holmes as saying “every person of Maori descent was guilty of “bashing their babies”.

    Leftish trash, both of them, deliberately ignoring the issues Holmes was rightly raising.

    BE: I had rather hoped you might do better than mindless abuse (leftish trash) in dealing with this matter. But I was clearly wrong. Your endless repetition of your original point is doing exactly what you decry in this comment, adding volume and nothing of content to the debate. And you continue to insult reasonable people with a reasonable interpretation of the import of what Holmes wrote by dismissing them as dishonestly misrepresenting what Holmes meant or intended. You’re becoming a zealot with a loud hailer. For heaven’s sake find something new or original to say, or find another website on which to bore people to death. I hope that message is unambiguous enough for you.

  19. Brian, as soon as people stop mindlessly repeating the same misrepresentation I’ll stop calling them on it. (And in a lot fewer words.)

    Deal?

    I also think I’ve added more new content to the debate than most here, including yourself, but others can judge that for themselves.

  20. “Never mind the child stats, never mind the national truancy stats, never mind the hopeless failure of Maori to educate their children and stop them bashing their babies.”

    This what he wrote Wilkinson. Who are these ‘them’ who are bashing their babies according to Holmes?

    You write “In fact less than nothing, as both simply misrepresented Holmes as saying “every person of Maori descent was guilty of “bashing their babies”.
    Neither Danyl or Chris say this so where are you really? As angry as Holmes about all of your privilege at risk somehow? Good grief/grievances.

  21. Cnr Joe: “Who are these ‘them’ who are bashing their babies according to Holmes?”

    Those Maori revealed by the child stats that he referenced at the start of the sentence. Everyone understands that except those who don’t want to.

    “Neither Danyl or Chris say this”

    Dimpost: “he claims Maori are all fat, lazy child abusers”

    Trotter: “Mr Holmes who, in his rhetorical fury at Waitangi Day protest, suggested that every person of Maori descent was guilty of ‘bashing their babies’”

    Read your own links.

  22. Right back at the top, KEVIN HESTER said: “…the level of underlying racism that still exists in our wee country. Another example being the resistance to the Chinese attempt to purchase the insolvent, derelict Crafar farms…”

    Well, Kevin, The NZ Herald reports that a Chinese company has just hi-jacked the New Zealand company’s “Cookie Time” logo, and is blocking its attempts to register in China, which could now take up to two years. And these are the people we want to have free trade with, and sell farms to?

    And why don’t you actually study how China treats ITS OWN PEOPLE? Never mind what attitudes they might bring here.

  23. ROSS said: “There is a serious problem when between 2002 and 2006, 28 Maori kids were killed. We know their names. But who remembers the names of the 48 Pakeha children who suffered a similar fate?””

    As ever, there are statistics and lies, and that little diversion has been tried on before. The problem is not the NUMBERS, but the PROPORTION of child murder/abuse to population, and Maori are streets ahead in that statistic.

  24. DEEP RED said : “Paul Holmes isn’t so much a racist as he is a culture war pig. It’s not just Maori and Africans – he also happens to play the ‘Elders of Mecca’ card from time to time. In effect, he’s become NZ’s very own Bill O’Reilly.”

    Deep, you need to get out more. Things are moving so swiftly that some of us now regard O’Reilly as only a reluctant combatant. The real battle is moving further right – and not before time.
    ———————–
    And have you ever really read what the hardline Islamists are REALLY saying (while living in and taking advantage of the West)? Tossing off phrases like “culture war pig” is just too facile; you need to do some in-depth study.

  25. Wake Up,

    It wasn’t me who made the comment you’ve attributed to me. I was quoting Dr Rawiri Taonui. I agree that the child abuse stats are relatively worse for Maori than for non-Maori. But I also think it’s true that the media like to sensationalise cases of Maori child abuse.

  26. DEEP RED said : “Paul Holmes isn’t so much a racist as he is a culture war pig. It’s not just Maori and Africans – he also happens to play the ‘Elders of Mecca’ card from time to time. In effect, he’s become NZ’s very own Bill O’Reilly.”

    Deep, you need to get out more. Things are rapidly moving to the right – and not before time – and many of us now regard O’Reilly as a reluctant, late-to-the-table mainstreamer.
    ——————–
    Re the “Elders of Mecca”: have you actually LISTENED to what hardline Islamists are REALLY saying (while living in, and taking advantage of, the comforts of the West) ? You need to do some study: tossing around childish insults like “culture war pig” is just facile avoidance of the issues.

  27. Fair enough Brian, I’ll not be mentioning the John Campbell business again, but I feel a further defence of Paul is required.

    As regards Paul’s original Waitangi piece, it should be fairly evident that when Paul writes of “hateful, hate-fuelled weirdos” he is referring to the Waitangi protesters. No issue there, other than the silly name calling. However, I suspect there might be a little racial sensitivity regarding this passage

    “Never mind the child stats, never mind the national truancy stats, never mind the hopeless failure of Maori to educate their children and stop them bashing their babies.”

    But again, a reasonable reader should be able to see that Paul is attempting to contrast the out of touch Maori “aristocracy” with the harsher realities of Maori existence in Aotearoa. But because of the tone of the article, and because child abuse is a shameful thing, some are interpreting it as Paul Maori ‘bashing’ when in truth Paul could be genuinely concerned about the issue.

    Now if Paul had instead been outraged by the buffet on offer at Waitangi consisting of KFC and other fatty foods he might have commented on the worrying Maori stats for obesity and cardiovascular disease, and then added that “Maori were eating themselves to death”. All sensible readers would interpret this as Paul’s concern for Maori health and would never consider it to be a racist statement. So it is all in the context. Those of a particular bent will always choose to interpret things in a way that suits them. Paul should have been less strident and he’d have got his point across a lot better. It is a good point Paul has to make, but it is lost in the controversy.

  28. “Dr Rawiri Taonui says about Holmes: “He generalises all Maori as child bashers. There is a serious problem when between 2002 and 2006, 28 Maori kids were killed. We know their names. But who remembers the names of the 48 Pakeha children who suffered a similar fate?”

    I find it remarkably difficult to accept that Dr Taonui has failed to grasp that Holmes didn’t actually suggest that Holmes “generalises all Maori as child bashers”. He didn’t. And I also find it difficult to accept that in 4 year period 76 children were murdered in New Zealand without a heap more fuss being made in the press. I can only recall a few from that period – one every 3 weeks should be enough for a massive public outcry, surely?

    Where did the Doctor get his figures – from Willie Jackson?

  29. What amazes me about these kinds of arguments is that people infer widely different meaning from the same words. Its not the best written column but does anyone seriously believe that Paul Holmes thinks all Maori bash their kids?

    Similarly, BE’s comments: “I have never said Holmes was racist. I said his column on Waitangi Day expressed racist views. I wondered whether he might have been drunk when he wrote it” are also playing with words and might be called fighting talk which raises the heat of a discussion without shedding much light.

    The real issue, and the thrust of Holmes’s column, is whether we should retain as a national day an event which in recent times and the foreseable future is divisive instead of uniting.

    Waitangi Day has its place, but it seems that some Maori will always strongly believe they have been disadvantaged and consequently make it a focus for dispute. It should be returned to the status it had pre 1973, and some other date used. Personally I think it should not be Anzac Day as that is when war dead are commemorated, which is not a celebration and has a different function.

    Suggestions?

  30. i wish there were named boxes.

    box 1 ARGUMENTS OVER STATS.
    box 2 UNREPRESENTED CHILDREN re. the basic human rights – to life and safety.

    in fact – these boxes should actually be in different partitions of the office, so far apart are they in the operative.

    a person such as holmes, having a frustrated rant from his own perspective, may open debate but as witnessed by the posts above its sort of like hammering a beehive while wearing your famous media bee protection suit. it may be exciting but really its folly, its mischief, its unfair. and i feel for any worker bees petrolled in the melee.
    you know – easy to do but what good did it do? and now you’ve got angry bees that sting any passer by.

    so – be more organised holmes. boxes may help. a bit more prep, or living alternative experiences, if you’re running out of things to say.

  31. Ross, apologies, I should have made it clearer that it was Rawiri Taonui that was tap-dancing around the truth.

  32. The stats do seem horrendous,Perhaps children “killed” in car accidents may have been included.Im more interested in the socio economic make up than the racial make up .

  33. What about white Pakeha Christians who beat their kids?

    Or is that OK to the Alan Wilkinson’s of this world.

  34. bje, I’ll change the analogy. When there’s an elephant in the room, it’s not very safe to sleep there. You never know when its going to roll over.

    Holmes pointed out the elephant. A whole lot of people shouted at him for not looking out the window politely like them. But all the others who were also worried about the elephant said they could see it too.

    So now you are telling Holmes he shouldn’t have said anything out loud to upset people. Especially not those who were enjoying the view and the free nibbles and wanted to invite more of their friends and rellies in.

  35. wilkinson- i’m saying it’s easy to rile people up, especially when it is a controversial topic.
    what’s holmes’ result? – a lot of predictable responses that are anti – maori, which really burns a bunch of bridges.i’d like to join in the moan because everyone needs a good moan – and its nice to be able to moan in a big group – the majority.real brave.
    but who’s it helping? who’s it doing any good for?
    i also think the new zealand ‘celebrity’ (and experienced news hack) paul holmes knows he has majority support so its poor sport for him to do what he did.i do still say – an easy piece to write for the predictable uproar.
    now – your elephant, wilkinson, is it at the zoo? is it perhaps indigenous to the setting in your analogy? was it a circus elephant with impeccabble manners? had holmes been hoping for a little cuddle with the elephant when entering its room? a lot to digest – this pachyderm puzzler!!!

  36. millsy, I think you need help, but not from me – unless you can find somewhere I ever said anything even vaguely related to your ridiculous, irrelevant nonsense.

  37. Millsy: What about white Pakeha Christians who beat their kids?

    Right now I’m just trying to source the figures millsy – I can’t see how I missed child 70 murders out of 76 in a recent four year period, but apparently (according to Taonui) I have.

    Of course many murderers wouldn’t have been Maori and maybe some would’ve been ‘Christians’, though what sort of Christian makes one wonder.

    I presume child murders in the family environment, murdered by family (and step-) members are the real issue to which Holmes was referring, and I’m curious to learn what those stats are.

  38. alan wilkinson-i think your analogy is good because it leads us to ask deeper questions, showing a method of how to solve situations of fear or conflict like: who on earth put the elephant in the room in the first place? is the elephant indigenous to the setting? is it the elephant’s fault its in the room? shall we get an elephant behaviour expert in? should holmes stop shouting as he’s bound to be upsetting the disorientated elephant?
    yes, i’m clowning a little – but many a true word is spoken in jest.

  39. Holmes’ intemperate utterances amount to Maori-bashing — pure and simple. His language is that of a talk-back demagogue and a rabble-rouser. It is his way of gaining attention whenever he lacks “the oxygen of publicity”. I have also noticed that his worst rantings often co-incide with the launch of a new season of his TV or Radio programmes, or when he has been absent from the Women’s Weekly for a week or two. No one should take him seriously.

  40. bje: “a lot of predictable responses that are anti – maori”

    Really? Show me one. The responses are not “anti-Maori”, they are anti extreme protest and probably anti perpetual manipulation of the Treaty for selective favours.

  41. bje, unfortunately this elephant has extremely bad manners towards people it takes a dislike to. It’s no more indigenous than anyone else who was born in New Zealand and whose family has lived here for generations but it likes to claim it is. It claims to speak for a whole race and especially for all the ancestors who have been badly treated more than a century ago because it has been promised lots of treats if it does so.

  42. @ Alan Wilkinson

    “Really? Show me one (a lot of predictable responses that are anti – maori). The responses are not “anti-Maori”, they are anti extreme protest and probably anti perpetual manipulation of the Treaty for selective favours”.

    Umm. I’d suggest that the following comments, taken from the last thread Brian did on the Holmes piece fall into the category you’re seeking, Alan. I’m stil scratching my head over them…

    “A good example is, in fact, the picture you’ve chosen to illustrate your criticism. Have you any idea how many of New Zealand’s more sophisticated citizens are sick to death of seeing that atavistic, primitive tongue-poking gesture?”

    “You don’t have to be “sophisticated” to be “sick to death” of seeing that repellently ugly cultural junk. And while we’re at it: the last person I’d want at my dinner party, is one who scribbles dark-stained muck on her chin”.

    “…at least you can be sure that you won’t get snot dribbling on your upper lip in an “uncivilised” Hongi greeting and/or get knocked-out by someone’s sewer-breath.

    I am “chilled out”. But I gather that you get the warm fuzzies with the oh-so-fashionable: Why, some of my best friends are — grotesquely — tattooed Maori”.

  43. Kimbo, even that is objection to specific behavioural choices, traditional cultural, not racial – facial tattoos, hongis and tongue-poking haka. Surely all are legitimate personal love/hates?

    And that is the most extreme example?