Posted by BE on February 15th, 2012
It’s a truism of column writing for the tabloid press that, if you want to attract a decent-sized readership, you can’t afford to be too rational or too even-handed. Writing in a considered way or seeing both sides of an issue is likely to lose you not only your audience but the job as well. What your editor wants is stuff that will stir readers up and have them reaching for their pens or laptops – outrage!
Given that brief, it’s difficult for the tabloid columnist to go too far. Michael Laws, who appears to view himself as the only pure-bred in a society of ferals, might seem to be an exception, but in fact represents the finest qualities of the breed.
One might have thought that Paul Holmes was a different kettle of fish. He is after all hugely intelligent, extraordinarily well-read, a talented writer in my estimation, and an award-winning columnist.
His column in last Saturday’s Weekend Herald, headed Waitangi Day a complete waste, reveals none of that. It is an appalling piece of offensive, unintelligent, uninformed racist claptrap that makes his 2003 ‘cheeky darkie’ reference to United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan seem innocuous.
Here are some quotes. Judge for yourself:
‘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.’
Were you drunk when you penned this racist diatribe, Paul? I hope so. That at least would be an excuse.
In this morning’s Herald a man often himself dismissed as a racist hothead replied. Hone Harawira described Holmes’ column as ‘a nasty article from somebody who must have known it would hurt a lot of people.’
‘It was mean and mean-spirited. It was deliberately offensive and uncaring, and though he might claim that it was written to spark debate, at the end of the day it was just mean and nasty.’
Harawira then proceeded to give Holmes a history lesson. There was anger in it but the anger was contained. It spoke of the historic and contemporary injustices that Maori have faced since 1840, but it did so largely without rancour. And it ended with this charming and positive response to Holmes’ claim that Waitangi Day should no longer be New Zealand’s national day:
‘I’d also like you to know that along with a whole lot of other people (Maori and Pakeha), I enjoy going to Waitangi every year.
‘I enjoy the company, I enjoy the politics (both the Maori stuff and the Pakeha stuff), I enjoy the banter, I enjoy the people (both Maori and Pakeha), I enjoy having the kuia tell me they love me even when they’re telling me off, I enjoy watching the kids playing sport, I enjoy the kapa haka groups, I enjoy the kai, I enjoy the march up to the top marae, I enjoy the church service, I enjoy seeing people I haven’t seen in a while, I enjoy the occasion … and yes Mr Holmes, I even enjoy the protest, because protest is every bit a part of Waitangi as anything else.
‘Waitangi Day is our National Day Mr Holmes. It is rightly commemorated in many different ways in many different parts of the country, but it was at Waitangi that a group of people chose to sign a Treaty that was to be the foundation of our nation, and it is to Waitangi that we rightly return every year to see how well we’re doing.
‘It’s not always going to be strawberries and cream, but it will always be a part of who we are.
‘Maybe I’ll see you up there next year, Mr Holmes.’
I thought that was generous.
On its front page today the Herald billed the two columns Hone v Holmes. In those terms Holmes was outclassed from round one – a brawler who should never have stepped into the ring with a real boxer.
As for the case which Holmes presented, its greatest weakness seemed to me to be its failure to recognise that the social ills which beset Maori today are the same social ills that beset all colonised peoples. If you want to allocate blame, look to that.
I must confess to not readin Paul Holmes’ column. Your estimation of him is higher than mine, I guess.
But hasn’t Hone Harawira grown a lot in the past few years? He’s sounding much more measured and sometimes I even think of him as being statesman-like. His mana is growing.
BE: “But hasn’t Hone Harawira grown a lot in the past few years? He’s sounding much more measured and sometimes I even think of him as being statesman-like. His mana is growing.” Yes, yes and yes. Providing his mother isn’t sitting on his shoulder.
Without taking away from the bigoted rubbish that characterised the rest of the column, I feel one of the quotes you reproduced deserves special attention:
“Never mind the hopeless failure of Maori to educate their children and stop them bashing their babies.”
I am not entirely sure it is appropriate to write racist generalisations like that in any forum. Actually it may be fair to apply that to the whole of the column.
Not to mention his rather useless and simplistic approach to the La Leche issue and to Syria.
BE: I agree on all points including his reference to the La Leche group as ‘breast-feeding fascists’.
There are many of us who think Holmes was right about Kofi Annan (whose United Nations legacy is a disgraceful, impotent mess).
BE: What was the relevance of either ‘cheeky’ or ‘darkie’ to that?
It used to be that I could take him or leave him. Then I heard him broadcasting the “Cheeky Darkie” drivel. I could now take him even less. Then I was in the Victoria , Remuera, Superette one day when he “Bullied” the poor Indian shopkeeper. Had I been still in my angry youth, I would have dropped the racist bigot.
BE: I’ve taken out one sentence which I wasn’t happy with. I don’t think that lessens your point.
The point is that Holmes may have been right about Annan being bad in/for his job, but the only thing that got discussed was Holmes’ non-PC language. Annan was a lazy, politically-correctly-appointed cocktail-sipper who did NOTHING, but not once did I see anyone in the media say “Hey, what if Holmes is right?”. Where the mainstream media was concerned, Annan was as Teflon-coated then as Obama is now.
And of course, the sub-text/extension of my bringing this up in this way is: What if Holmes is be right about Waitangi Day too?; but y’all will be too preoccupied with his non-PC stance and language to ask the vital “what if…? “question.
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?
BE: So that was the point! I’m not too happy being lumped in with ‘y’ll’ and neither, I suspect, would most readers of this post be. Kind of arrogant and patronising to think everyone else lacks your discernment. As for the picture, it was taken this year at Waitangi. It shows a young Maori boy, proud of his culture. I’m comfortable with that. Obviously I don’t move among ‘New Zealand’s more sophisticated citizens’ as you do.
Oh dear. Steve Withers, you’ve gone and said it now: “But hasn’t Hone Harawira grown a lot in the past few years? He’s sounding much more measured and sometimes I even think of him as being statesman-like. His mana is growing.” The clock is ticking, the fuse is set. Every time Hone starts acting like a human being (much less a wise human being) I just know he’s going to open his yap and spout something offensive, or forget to vote on a bill he sponsored, or any of the rest of his oeuvre of boff-headedness. I hope I am proven wrong.
I understand, however , had you been there, I suspect you would have come to the same conclusion…. just saying……
BE: Fair enough!
I’m really glad to see that this bigotry hasn’t gone unnoticed, I read it the other day in disbelief and then decided to dismiss it as the ravings of an out of touch dinosaur.
“Thought-provoking”, minus any thought whatsoever. Bizarre also that he refers to the protesters as “hateful, hate-fuelled weirdos” in the midst of what has to be the most hateful opinion piece (bar Michael Laws) I’ve read in years.
A blogger in Wellington named Diane wrote an excellent complaint to the New Zealand Herald which can be found here: http://dianerevoluta.tumblr.com/post/17454191815/official-complaint-to-new-zealand-herald along with the Herald’s response, which was to naturally claim that Holmes wasn’t making generalisations about all Maori and that it was fine in the realm of Opinion.
BE: Thanks for that, Graham. I would have said the piece was composed almost entirely of sweeping generalisations about Maori. As for the ‘realm of Opinion’, clearly everything, however vile, is acceptable in that realm.
I’ve never been a fan of Holmes, despite his obvious ability as a broadcaster. Good at the sizzle, but not much sausage.
Can’t say I was impressed having my Prime Minister (no matter who it is!) shouted down on a public occasion, in a public venue on our National Day – especially when he was seeking to also address the country on a contentious issue (removal of selected SOE’s from section 8) via the assembled media. Protest or not, I don’t like my PM or government’s time being held to ransom. That, and the scuffle was the background, and no matter what the wrongs of colonisation and land-theft that need to be addressed, Holmes captured the mood of a lot of Kiwis – not all of them racists, nor lacking in good faith re ToW.
With that background, Holmes’ article started out ok, and would have been fair, or at a legitimate representation of disgruntlement if he had delimited his tirade to, “a group of hateful, hate-fuelled weirdos”. Remember this was a group related to/closely aligned with (possibly directed by?) Hone who saw fit to label Pita Sharples a nigger – and unlike Paul Holmes’ stupid “cheeky darkie” comment, there was no irony, or absence of malice in their comments to Sharples.
Holmes then wrote “It is loony Maori fringe self-denial day”. Yeah, I can live with that. Every group, Pakeha, Maori, Protestants have their loony fringe. Helen Clark, when she was a casualty of the power-plays of pretty much this same group described them as “haters”.
However, as Sam above rightly points out, whatever legitimate point Holmes has about activists perhaps putting their efforts into other more urgent and pressing issues quickly got lost with unfocused, frankly racist crap like, “Never mind the hopeless failure of Maori to educate their children and stop them bashing their babies”. Maori may be badly over-represented in the stats to which Holmes referred, but that does still not describe “all”, “many”, or “most” Maori. The old story – when Jesse Ryder scores a cricket test century he is a Kiwi. When he is injured, or has off field-problems, he is Maori!
Not sure if Hone is on the level when he uses terms like “It was mean and mean-spirited. It was deliberately offensive”. We are talking about Mr “Mo-Fo” here! Pot. Kettle. Black.
However, he has always been a brave man, and one of those very rare people, let alone politicians who is completely honest, and speaks his mind. He greatest strength – he will not compromise – is also his greatest weakness. I was glad, and thought it was a good investment by the NZ tax-payer when he took time out a couple of years ago to check out Paris. It doesn’t do good for a leader to be in continual battle mode. Maybe the chance to widen perspectives has indeed mellowed the man. Could it be that Holmes and Hone will pass each other heading in opposite directions as they grow older?
Sorry, does not compute. This sort of hatemongering verbal diarrhoea simply cannot, under any circumstance, emanate from a “hugely intelligent…talented writer”.
Any dispassionate observer knows full well that Holmes is most patently none of the above: rather that he is a notorious and craven demander of attention and a tory.
That is, a raucous and influential bird of a feather with the PM, whose highly sensitive poll-itical proboscis will now be quivering at the emergence of a nascent anti-asset sales alliance of Maori, elderly, rural and redneck.
Cue a wedge of heavy racist hatemongering from an old pal, and provoke some howls from the Maori Party.
“Extraordinarily well-read” may be slightly more accurate: but only if you’re referring to poll/focus group reports and, of course, odd cheap epithets from other old pals.
BE: Well, I hate to pull rank, but I know him rather better than you and he is all the things I have described. That’s why I asked whether he was drunk when he wrote this stuff. I should perhaps also have asked whether he wrote it late at night. Some of my own most unreasonable and inflammatory columns were written when I had a couple of wines too many and it was late in the evening. They were generally discarded on Judy’s advice the following morning. This stuff is out of character for Paul.
@ Wake Up:
“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.
BE: Not to worry, Rupert, you’re the last person most thinking people, Maori or Pakeha, would be likely to want at their dinner party. Unless of course it was a ‘come as an ignoramus’ party.
I admired Hone’s strong coherent writing style in this column. His utterances on the Election time Native Affairs was statesmanlike compared to the other Leaders in that debate.
It is disturbing if a little suspicious that over 500 people on the Herald website have appeared to support Holmes and are critical of Hone’s response. Probably the greatest negative support ever.
Although I agree with most of what Brian writes I think Paul has a point.Waitangi day fails to address any of the outstanding social issues our society faces.I like the idea of protest because it really should be a forum for honesty rather than a celebration of something that still fails to deliver.
BE: Hmmm. It seems unrealistic to me to expect Waitangi Day to address, in the sense of helping to resolve, important issues that go back to the founding of the nation. That has got to be the function of governments. The day is intended as a celebration. And it is a celebration, a fact obscured by the media’s sole interest in protest and conflict.
Much of Paul Holmes’ article accurately reflects many peoples’ feelings about Waitangi Day. Not just ‘pakeha’ [ I hate that word ] New Zealanders but New Zealanders, european, maori, pacific, asian, et al. Most of us understand there were injustices in our past and accept the need for the settlement process that has been undertaken. It’s just the never ending nature of this, and the inability to ever satisfy these claimants, that grinds you down. Whatever agreement is reached it never seems to be final. Or suddenly out of left field comes a new demand you would never have considered…last week it seems maori own all the water. Harawira paints a rosy picture of New Zealand before the British arrived, but perhaps he needs a history lesson too, as many of his relations ended up massacred in the many tribal conflicts. We cannot rewrite history, the country was colonised, and as with other indigenous peoples, maori, simply have to catch up. This will take generations as has been seen elsewhere in the world. This is happening increasingly with educated maori in senior positions now in all walks of life. You don’t achieve this through handouts, but through education, family structure and simple hard work. The Harawiras thrive on division and mistrust, just ask the Maori Party. He can describe us as white motherfarters but if we reply in kind we are racists. Having Waitangi Day at Waitangi only gives oxygen to a ragtag group of protesters, who, devalue our leaders and institutions for no discernible gain to anyone. Downgrade Waitangi Day to a simple ceremony between the Governor General and maori leaders with no politicians present. Create a proper New Zealand day that we can all celebrate and let’s move on in this great country.
BE: Well, I think your point that Waitangi Day ‘gives oxygen to a ragtag group of protesters’ in a sense contains a response to your earlier argument. That’s what they are and they don’t represent Maoridom in general. I disagree with your point about settlements. There have been a number of final settlements and they have been concluded with good will on both sides. Nor is the process never-ending. Hone’s feelings about Waitangi Day are almost certainly shared by tens of thousands of Maori who do not fall into the ‘ratbag group of protesters’ category. I don’t think we can so easily dispense with the celebration of their and our founding document.
@ WAKE UP & Rupert
“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”.
As oppossed to the make-up some women (and men!) cake themselves with?!
You guys need to chill out. There are guys at my rugby club with moko and/or tatou. Makes New Zealand an interesting place. Plus if I ever have to shake your hand in a “civilised” greeting, I do have the problem that I don’t know where it’s been, nor if it’s recently washed!
After reading Pauls pathetic ramblings….i feel a little bit dirty!
And after reading the mostly supportive comments on NZ herald to pauls ramblings…i feel like there are alot of deranged kiwis out there!
“Plus if I ever have to shake your hand in a “civilised” greeting, I do have the problem that I don’t know where it’s been, nor if it’s recently washed!”
Yeah, but 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.
BE: That’s your last comment on this site, Rupert. You don’t belong.
Wow, Rupert. Just wow. That is one of the most vile things I have ever read.
Hey Rick – why do you hate the word “pakeha”? Fair enough, you’re entitled to call yourself whatever you want and have others oblige, but I’ve always found it useful. Helps give me some self-understanding and place as a non-Maori, probably European/Anglo-Saxon/Celtic descendant, but long since departed and now resident in a South Pacific country. But that’s just me.
“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”.
Nope. Just tended to mix with a wide range of people growing up, some of whom considered moko and whetero a normal thing in a country located in the South Pacific. As a result, I’d like to think I take people as I find them, and adopt a live-and-let-live attitude as long as they do the same.
Am trying to figure out what real harm moko or whetero actually causes you. Am open-minded about the possibility, but skeptical you can make a decent case. Go for it.
Plus I have a disdain for people who claim they are “offended” (a pretty useless emotion), especially if there is an implied demand for protection and special privilege to cope with life’s everyday vicissitudes.
So in my mind, born-again Maori zealots, PAWG (Pakeha awash with guilt – to quote Billy T James), and people with sensibilities and opinions such as yours are on the same bucket list as far as I’m concerned.
Which also means I tend not to offend easily.
it was an awful column.
parts of holmes are awful then. in vino veritas.
but why is he so angry? i don’t think he has a right to pick so many fights with so many people for so little reason. why do that?
aside – i think John Key was always going to walk off the marae – no mettle on show, just split. waving off.
pleased you wrote on this B.E because Pauls piece surely went through a few hands and still was allowed through. my brother taught me to put it in the bottom draw and if it still feels right ( some time later ) then act on it.
and Harawiras response was dignity itself – why look so shabby Paul? olive oil sales will suffer!
1. I can accept Maori have a sense of grievance about various things and can accept it can just as readily be based on an intangible sense of cultural displacement as in history or reason.
2. I can see in myself a wish to have protest nicely packaged and dignified like in the Maori Party and realise at the same time that might be a bit of a contradiction.
3. I did gasp a little at Paul’s article.
4. And yet….I do find the consistent rudeness and belligerence exhibited my Maori toward my leaders (of any political stamp) and my institutions wearing and irritating. It is after all merely hypocrisy to hold one’s own institutions sacred and care not a fig about other’s.
Mr Holmes is a former shock-jock DJ and that’s all he ever has been and all he ever will be.
I do have sympathy with some of what Paul Holmes has to say. I do not believe what he has said to be particularly racist. It is a frustration that many feel that Waitangi Day is not a day of celebration, it is not a day of constructive dialogue.
It has become a day that has been hijacked by ‘rent a mob'; by those who are not prepared to talk or to listen. All they wish to do is hurl abuse and in some case resort to violence. On this blog you rightly condemn those who resort to abuse. You should show the same lack of tolerance to them. I am no supporter of JK but no person should have to submit to the abuse he took at Waitangi. Helen Clark decided here were limits to what she was prepared to endure and rightly made the decsion not to return to Waitangi. I do not believe that reaction was prompted by racism.
I agree with everything that is said about the injustices suffered by Maori, but the behaviour of a few on Waitangi Day just serves to polarise opinion and confirms the prejudices of the red necks. Trying to give PH some benefit of the doubt I think it was frustration that gave birth to the article.
As for HH’s claim that PH’s remarks were offensive, uncaring, mean spirted, well that is bloody rich coming from him. He possibly may have matured in the last two or three years but nobody will have forgotten some of his contributions to the race relations debate.
Maybe, PH is expressing what many of us actually feel but dont openly say out loud. Maybe, he’s sick of pandering to perceived Maori grievances. The above picture sums it up, a no-hoper in the making.
BE: Your final comment is utterly contemptible. A Maori boy celebrating his culture on Waitangi dismissed as “a no-hoper in the making”. I’d say you were the one there was no hope for.
as an aside – is there a photocredit for the large striking photo heading up your blog? Did you take it yourself? Did you licence it from someone, or are you ‘borrowing it’? Important media etiquette missing perhaps?
BE: The photograph was taken from the Waitangi National Trust site. The Trust promotes and publicises Waitangi Day. There were several Waitangi Day photos none of which were credited with the photographer’s name. I imagine the Trust would be delighted with both the content of the post and the appearance of the photograph. However, if you think this was a breach of “important media etiquette” I will happily credit the Trust.
You speak of ‘full and final’ settlements to Waitangi claims but do you not know that some tribes (Ngai Tahu as an example) have had up to four ‘full and final’ settlements?
Firstly @ WAKE UP & Rupert – Just admit you’re racist already and get it over with.
This is a new generation and articles like this that provide “2 sides of the story” will help to shape the world and the behaviour of young Maori to come. Paul Holmes is quick to point out the fact the Maori children are “uneducated” – I am Maori and my entire family attended King’s College. Each of us have graduated from University and I am in my final year of medicine at UNSW in Sydney. Too often on this day I look to the NZ public only to find opinion – with no real basis of fact, merely generalisation. Public figures getting so wound up, and all it comes down to is a lack of understanding – or for lack of a better word: “EDUCATION”. And I’m not just talking about Maori. An unwillingness to learn about a culture, or even look to the history books and learn the TRUE foundation of what really happened at Waitangi. This goes for Maori too. YES there are Maori out there who have done horrible things, which I have seen first hand from members of my own family. But I can see the light and I have hope for the next generation. Let’s hope media personalities like Paul Holmes have had their final run. Or that NZers have enough “education” to see beyond his bigotry.
I’ve never been a fan of Holmes but I think that he has a valid point with this piece. As a passionate kiwi he is disheartened by what has become of our national day.
The regular routine of scuffles and other incidents directly affecting the PM and at times other leaders attending is appalling, and I can think of no other country which would permit these offices to be so disrespected. It is simply a national disgrace.
Helen Clark and Jim Bolger refused to go to Waitangi because of this, and I wouldn’t criticise Key if he made the same decision.
BE: “the social ills which beset Maori today are the same social ills that beset all colonised peoples.” This sad example of white guilt cannot be left unchallenged – do you seriously believe that if NZ had not been populated by Europeans that Maori would be better off? (Think about Papua New Guinea or any uncolonised pacific island.)
BE: nothing to do with “white guilt”. I have none and it was a simple statement of historical fact.
There are nine copies of the Treaty at Archives New Zealand, including the Treaty in Māori signed on 6 February 1840. All but one of these copies is written in longhand, and only one is in English. The structure of each follows a similar pattern, but the wording differs.
It is clear to see that there is plenty of scope for difficulties to arise.
By 2010 legislation had been passed for settlements with a total value of about $950 million.One should keep perspective firmly to the front and contrast the amount to date, with say the recompense for a failed financial institution such as South Canterbury Finance.
Māori have been protesting about legitimate grievances pretty much since the signing of the Treaty. If Governments of the day abrogate aspects of the Treaty…one can expect protest. Where better than Waitangi? And when better than the commemoration of the signing?
Paul Holmes’ time and efforts would be better spent focusing on the reasons that impel Māori to protest.
“Oh dear, Paul, were you drunk when you penned this racist diatribe?”
Must be a whole heap of Herald readers cum posters sculling the same claret as Paul does.
Samantha, what is sad is that voices like yours are lost in the babble of the mob. Waitangi Day should be about celebrating the achievements of those like you and discussing rationally the grievances of those left behind. BE finds some of the comments made here ‘contemptible’. I find the comments made by some at Waitangi equally contemptible.
This is the problem with any debate that attempts to discuss Maori injustices. It degenerates into a shouting match between the two extremes.
the boy in the photo has lovely healthy even white teeth, he has pride in his appearance as he has hair gel going on. his hair is clean and his body weight looks great for a youngster.he is contempory as he has a western pop culture earring. he is probably proud and self disciplined to be part of a large performing cultural group. he looks like he may probably be an excellent role model.put a photo up of yourself amelie. i hope you might compare at least equally to this young guy.
Paul Holmes has now done himself an injustice to Maori , forgot he was married to a Pretty M
@ bje – funny that, but your description sounds a lot like how judge jocelyn munroe described the young man appearing before her in the taupo court, charged with raping a 5 year old in the turangi camp ground…
BE: This is really Catch 22 logic. The young Maori in the photo looked like someone who took pride in his appearance. A young man who raped a five-year-old girl took pride in his appearance. Ergo any young man who takes pride in his appearance must be suspect (especially if he’s Maori). Utterly irrational.
‘funny that, but your description sounds a lot like how judge jocelyn munroe described the young man appearing before her in the taupo court, charged with raping a 5 year old in the turangi camp ground…’
Clouds are white and fluffy. Sheep are white and fluffy. Therefore sheep are clouds.
BE: The Merv school of logic!
abookbyitscover – my description also sounds like one of a healthy and balanced human being. Looking at the above photo that’s what the boy physically and inferentially looks like.
I’ve also heard similar and like positive words to describe public faces – Hayley Westenra, Jacko Gill , Dan Carter and the like. Does that make them rapists too? Are we to visualise them in the dock as well?
you contradict your own nondeplume because you call foul over judge munroe for doing what you like to do -judge a book by your narrow perception of its cover.
at least – to sound rational – you better put yourself in the same box as munroe on her unfortunate, insensitve and inappropriate day at court.
BE: “This is really Catch 22 logic. The young Maori in the photo looked like someone who took pride in his appearance. A young man who raped a five-year-old girl took pride in his appearance. Ergo any young man who takes pride in his appearance must be suspect (especially if he’s Maori). Utterly irrational.”
I don’t know what university yoYyu and Peter Martin studied Logic from, but you’ve skewed ‘abookbyitscover’ (point taken, poster) rationale by way of inversion. This poster was pointing out that “lovely healthy even white teeth”, ‘clean, gelled hair’, “body weight looks great” etc., etc. In other words: a putative clean-cut appearance doesn’t necessarily signify clean-cut character. The poster was pointing out the risk of drawing erroneous conclusions from one’s appearance, as in: “Still waters run deep”.
BE: “A young man who raped a five-year-old girl took pride in his appearance.” (Say it: the “young man” happened to be a Maori).
Hardly. He deliberately dressed that way for the ‘occasion’, with the — cynically — calculated intent of cultivating a favourable perception from the not-too-bright Judge Jocelyn Munro. And of which he succeeded, spectacularly; her falling for it — hook, line and sinker.
BE: Youre out of your depth, Merv. The very fact of drawing a comparison between the Maori boy’s clean-cut appearance and that of a confessed rapist was – well, you tell me what. To say that you can’t judge a book by its cover? Well that applies to most of us. So just what was the ‘poster’s point in this case?
Re your second point, I said that in the original post. So who are you arguing with?
yes, merv, i agree.i did look at the picture and drew conclusions from the picture – originally in its context of promoting waitangi day. i looked at the background, with it portrayed as a family day and i liked the joie de vivre of the picture’s main subject. i personally liked the look in his eye. i still say he looks healthy too- on the descriptors i used.
i didn’t say he looked clean cut. graham capill looked clean cut. say no more there.
the point, for me however, was that i was responding first and foremost to amelie who appears to contend, through her posting, that “still waters run…”into a sewer.
“I don’t know what university you and Peter Martin studied Logic from, but you’ve skewed ‘abookbyitscover’ (point taken, poster) rationale by way of inversion”.
Nope. I think abookbyitscover’s post was an example of the fallacy of the undistributed middle.
“The boy in the photo has…pride in his appearance.”
“The young man charged with raping a 5 year old in the turangi camp ground…appearing before…judge jocelyn munroe (was described)…a lot like your description (i.e., having pride in his appearance)”.
I think the following is the most oft-quoted example:
Why are fire trucks always rushing?
Fire trucks are red because newspapers are red. Newspapers originally cost 25 cents. Half of 25 is about 12. 12 inches are in a foot. A foot is a ruler. Queen Elizabeth was a ruler. Queen Elizabeth was also a ship. Ships are in the ocean. Fishes are also in the ocean. Fish have fins. Fins fought the Russians. Russians are red and that’s why fire trucks are red. They are always rushing.
Pretty gross misrepresentation of both Paul and Hone’s articles by Brian Edwards.
Paul said: “It is loony Maori fringe self-denial day.” He’s not saying all Maori. He’s clearly talking about the radical fringe who have made utterly obnoxious, extremist behaviour their own, and destroyed Waitangi weekend as any kind of national celebration for most New Zealanders.
Hone said: “And quite a lot of them thought that Pakeha just wanted to steal our land. And they didn’t think a treaty would stop untrustworthy Pakeha traders from pushing gut-rot alcohol into Maori communities. And they didn’t think a treaty could make dirty, stinking, Pakeha whalers, sailors, thieves and brigands wash more than three times a year. And some of my tupuna didn’t like the nasty way that early Europeans treated Maori kids – you know, telling them to get out of the way, telling them to shut up, hitting them … And some of them were protesting because they thought that Pakeha only wanted a treaty to stall for time while they brought their military in to steal what they couldn’t get honestly.”
Unpleasant accusations and generalisations about non-Maori ancestors which I guess you didn’t quote since it certainly isn’t “largely without rancour”.
The bottom line is that the current misrepresentation of the Treaty of Waitangi as an active bi-lateral agreement leaves Maori with no obligations whatever beyond those of every other New Zealand citizen yet leaves all other New Zealand citizens with many obligations to Maori.
This cannot continue.
BE: “Pretty gross misrepresentation of both Paul and Hone’s articles by Brian Edwards. Paul said: “It is loony Maori fringe self-denial day.” He’s not saying all Maori. He’s clearly talking about the radical fringe who have made utterly obnoxious, extremist behaviour their own, and destroyed Waitangi weekend as any kind of national celebration for most New Zealanders.”
I’m not normally in the business of “gross misrepresentation”. The issue here is that if it was Paul’s intention to apply his comments only to the protesters and not to all Maori, he failed to convey that in the piece. John Drinnan made the point in his column in this morning’s Herald:
“Holmes did not carefully differentiate his views on the transgressions of Waitangi protesters and what he thought of Maori as a whole. Some of us will assume the best – that his anger was addressed against protesters. Others will think the worst.
“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,” Holmes wrote.
The Herald published a carefully becalmed response from Mana Party leader Hone Harawira.”
I agree that there were moments of anger in Harawira’s response and said so in the piece, but the overall tone was restrained and conciliatory.
How can I be out of my depth, when these intellectual waters are barely lapping at my ankles?
I figure, I’m regressing back in time to crayon-and-colouring book terrain here, but I’ll try to flesh it out, so you know which coloured crayon best goes with what part of this segmented drawing.
You and bje wax lyrical over your spiky-haired boy (replete with his rap gangsta bling), holding him up to be an “excellent role model” for Maori youth. abookbyitscover says that appearances, alone, doesn’t guarantee good character. He mentions the well-dressed Maori rapist to underscore his caution in that regard.
Where’s the fallacy (or Catch–22) in that? But you and bje have seized upon that and corrupted it by turning it inside out. The poster brings it up, because you two are so hopelessly enamoured by the above picture; almost agog by rapture. Shows just what a good set of “even white teeth” can do for you.
Where you and bje see the personification of “Exemplar”, I see ‘tude and the germination in the seeds of Arrogance, Disrespect and Aggression; I see the generational passing down of the out-moded Warrior persona, which has socially and economically — and every other “ally” — hamstrung many Maori, leaving them in a perpetual state of seething resentment, truculence, jealousy and bitterness.
Maori need to come to the realisation that their flax skirt-covering-bare ass glory days have long-passed, we are now in the Age of Armani. The sooner their youth dispense with their feral ritualistic tongue-poking, crazed-eyed facial contortions etc., the better. Yeah, and dump the zirconia bling, too.
BE: All this because someone said the Maori kid in the photograph looked good! This is vile, barely concealed racist stuff, Merv. I made the mistake of withdrawing my ban on you from the site. It’s back. And permanent.
BE: “the social ills which beset Maori today are the same social ills that beset all colonised peoples.”
I’d say there would be plenty of Aboriginal elders who wish their ancestors been beset by only the same social ills as Maori.
BE: This is the argument: It may not be great here, but it’s worse somewhere else. So that’s fine then.
“The bottom line is that the current misrepresentation of the Treaty of Waitangi as an active bi-lateral agreement leaves Maori with no obligations whatever beyond those of every other New Zealand citizen yet leaves all other New Zealand citizens with many obligations to Maori.”
The above statement is simply untrue. Maori have discharged their obligations under the Treaty.
The purpose of the Treaty was for the crown to get Maori to recognise the sovereignty of the queen given the rapid growth in ‘white’ settlement in New Zealand. The crown wishing to establish a settled form of civil government.
The first article contains (and I summarise loosely) the central obligation imposed on Maori by the treaty. The requirement to cede sovereignty (or governorship) to the crown. The other obligation on Maori was to grant a right of pre-emption to the crown over their protected lands (article 2).
The crown had obligations under the second a third article to guarantee to Maori full and undisturbed possession of their lands and other possessions (acknowledging the issues dealing with the meaning of Kawanatanga, rangatira and taonga). The Crown also had an obligation under the third article to extend to Maori the same rights as those extended to British subjects.
I think it can be said that where we stand today, the Maori have in fact ceded sovereignty but it is not immediately clear that the Crown (read NZ Govt) has complied with its obligations.
Whether or not you think the document should apply 170 odd years on is a fair matter of opinion. The fact is that the Maori discharged their obligations and the crown hasn’t.
Another point is that Maori have no claim against the New Zealand people. Private land is gone for good and they can never have it back, they only have a claim to crown land. As such the Crown is not actually handing over billions of tax payer money, rather they are handing over land (Much of it unused)
I just wonder how settling the claims under the Treaty harms us a society?
quick merv, take your tablets. you’re frothing at the mouth.
In vino veritas?
The LLL piece was asinine.
“Most mothers want to breast feed, I’m sure. No one disputes this. Some simply can’t. And in the case of Piri’s little girl, she can’t handle dairy. ”
Was he saying the little girl’s mother is a cow?
And as for his final comment regarding Assad’s wife, “One dreads to imagine what they’ll do to her pretty face.” I found that particularly repugnant on all sorts of levels – why on earth would you go there?
I have never thought Holmes has much credibility and this rant proves his ego has taken over what remains of his brain. If the Herald had any guts they would sack him, not particularly over this issue but because his column is badly written, out of touch, has a vein of vileness and there is always too much use of the words “I” and “me”. His byline should be “Tosser”.
You have laid out both sides of the Treaty obligations very well. Thank you. Saved me responding to Alan Wilkinson’s weirdly one sided view. Clearly the original crown obligations are still outstanding and because they have been outstanding for so many years its become way more complicated.
To quote Alan “This cannot continue”.
Sam: “The above statement is simply untrue. Maori have discharged their obligations under the Treaty.”
You contradict yourself and prove my statement true. Maori now have no obligations under the Treaty. They were discharged many generations ago.
However, Maori now claim ongoing obligations towards themselves from all other New Zealanders. I have no objection to settling historic injustices under the Treaty. That is a magnanimous but moral thing to do. However, I have serious objections to ongoing obligations on only one party that divide the country on the basis of genetic inheritance.
The Treaty claims should be settled and then the Treaty annulled.
Thanks Brian for banning Merv permanently – I am up for debate and different views but his stuff was consistently low grade opinionated dribble that took away from any constructive debate.
What I find interesting is that settling historic injustices never seems to help those most in need. There appears to be great tribal and corporate Maori wealth but little seems to trickle down to the many Maori who live in substandard housing and who suffer from third world diseases that could be eradicated with some effort and some money.
I look at these Maori ‘corporations’ that have been born out of treaty settlements and wonder whether they are not just extensions of the National Party.
I do agree with AW; it is time to address real historic injustices once and for all and move on. Perhaps it is also time that instead of Waitangi Day being turned into some kind of circus, the day is used for rational discussion and celebration of things that are good in this country.
Brian Edwards, John Drinnan’s article in the Herald this morning was more reprehensible than yours since as well as misrepresentation it was a nasty, spiteful attempt to have Holmes sacked by TV1 a la Paul Henry.
I’m content to let others judge your misrepresentation and Paul’s intention but I certainly won’t cite John Drinnan as an arbiter, nor regard him with any respect whatsoever.
BE: There was no ‘misrepresentation’ in my post and I take strong exception to your phrase ‘more reprehensible than yours’ with its implication that what I had written was ‘reprehensible’.
Let me just draw you back to some of the things Holmes wrote:
“…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… 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.’
Are you telling me that that is all about a handful of protesters? Aren’t these many of the familiar characteristics attributed to Maori by racists? Work shy, sponging on the state, neglectful of their kids’ education, abusing their babies, getting more than their fair share of kai moana, stuffing their faces with junk food, grizzling about imagined injustices, ripping off the state for millions?
Just about the protesters? Get real.
As for John Drinnen, you seem to have no qualms about indulging in a bit of misrepresentation yourself, describing his article as ‘a nasty, spiteful attempt to have Holmes sacked by TV1 a la Paul Henry’. Drinnan is a media commentator, probably the most informed in New Zealand. He did not attempt to have Holmes sacked. He asked quite properly whether there was a conflict of interest between Holmes’ intemperate rave about Waitangi Day and Maori and his job as a disinterested host and interviewer on Q & A. It is Drinnan’s job to ask such questions. And there is no comparison at all between this matter and the sacking of Paul Henry. Henry was sacked because of a string of ill-judged and offensive comments on Breakfast. I suggest that you get off your high horse on this issue and stop accusing others of dishonesty.
BE: “Are you telling me that that is all about a handful of protesters?” Not entirely.
“…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… It is loony Maori fringe self-denial day. It’s a day when everything is addressed, except the real stuff.”
That is about the protestors and their extremist supporters.
“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…”
The statistics are about the Maori subcultures that create these problems. Some are small, others (educational failure) are much bigger.
The blame and hatred of whitey is about the fanatical, violent, protestors.
“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.’
That is the Treaty industry – the relatively few Maori at the top of the tree who exploit it and benefit from it.
That is real. Face it honestly.
As for John Drinnan, you are entitled to your opinion of him and his work.
For me, this was a simple hatchet attempt: “How can anyone take him seriously running a debate about racial issues, or even the SOE sales, and pretending that he does not have strong – some detractors would believe ugly – views on race?”
Considering Holmes’ immediate family links with Maori that is as absurd as your own accusation of racism.
BE: “Considering Holmes’ immediate family links with Maori that is as absurd as your own accusation of racism.” Next you’ll be telling me some of his best friends are Maori.
“A group of hateful, hate-fuelled weirdos;” I would have to say that based what I saw portrayed on TV news reports, this description is not that far wide of the mark. Had the epithet been applied to a bunch of skinheads in Christchurch every one would be nodding sagely in agreement. Because the ‘weirdos’ happened to be Maori the statement is unacceptable.
Whether you like it or not in the same way that there is a group of redneck white honkeys who believe all the ills of this country stem from Maori, there is a group (notice I do not say all) of extreme (the Maori equivalent of redneck) Maori who attribute all the ills of the Maori people to Pakeha and will not rest until the evil Pakeha are put in their place. That group appears to be well represented each year at Waitangi and I find the behaviour as disturbing and as unacceptable as I do a bunch of racist skinhead thugs attacking Asian students in Christchurch.
Alan, congratulations on a well thought out contribution, which in my view does not misrepresent and fact or opinion.
BE: Ben, have a look at just this one para from Paul’s column: Then tell me honestly whether you think it is referring to the group of protesters you say it is, or to Maori in general:
“‘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.”
Is the subject of that rave “Maori” or is it “protesters at Waitangi”?
Then have a look at this:
“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.”
Is that sentence about Maori in general or about the protesters at Waitangi?
Both questions are really rhetorical, in the sense that only one honest answer is possible.
Not just Maori and Africans, but Muslims, too – he’s become something of a macro-nationalist. And if it’s anything to go by, Holmes has a stiffy for Sarah Palin.
“Next you’ll be telling me some of his best friends are Maori.”
That sounds desperate, Brian. How about we just agree his daughter is Maori and leave it there?
““A group of hateful, hate-fuelled weirdos” I would have to say that based what I saw portrayed on TV news reports, this description is not that far wide of the mark. Had the epithet been applied to a bunch of skinheads in Christchurch every one would be nodding sagely in agreement. Because the ‘weirdos’ happened to be Maori the statement is unacceptable”.
“BE: Ben, have a look at just this one para from Paul’s column”
I’ve recorded above where Holmes made the mistake – transitioning from a group he quite rightly took to task, and broadening out to include all Maori.
Back to the “hateful, hate-fuelled weirdos” comment you rightly agree with, Ben. It is all very well to quote the seemingly reflective and wise words of Hone in response to Holmes. However, I distinctly recall him on Waitangi Day, after all the drama of the day before (which prompted Holmes’ tirade) saying, “The Treaty is everything for us. Our children have to know that”.
Sorry – but that is a recipe for perpetuating grievance, unhappiness, and “hateful, hate-fuelled weirdos”. I have no problems that past wrongs committed by the Crown in breach of the Treaty should be redressed. I have no problems with growing as a country together, so that the unique insights and values of the indigenous culture are preserved and adapt in a way that benefits both Maori, and all of us.
BUT I have a massive problem with someone who thinks the Treaty, and Crown policy is the answer to all their problems – hence “The Treaty is everything to us”. I value the Apostles Creed, Magna Carta, and lex rex, and they shape who I am, and my outlook in life, as they also partly shape my nation, and its government. But I look to the future for the opportunities that are available. I’ve got Celtic heritage, so I I’d like to think know a thing or two (by nature or nurture or both!) of the energising power and also the crippling potential seeking satisfaction and redress of wrongs suffered in the past.
I’d suggest the initial Holmes description of the group concerned as “hateful, hate-fuelled weirdos”- and that group only, and those who think and act like them on a regular basis at Waitangi – is a just and right description.
If you don’t think the Crown with whom you have to deal has ever dealt in good faith, or they are unlikely to in the future, then there is no point entering into a process of interaction – be it protest or otherwise. If the Crown is really as bad as Hone implies, then it is highly unlikely he will ever drag them kicking and screaming where they don’t want to go. Which means ratcheting up the level of protest, with a corresponding poorly-focused contempt and disdain from “representative” pakeha like Paul Holmes. Who, on listening to Maori feedback, has over-stepped the mark, and hurt a lot of people. As Hone’s whanau do on a regular basis every February 6.
Thank you Brian for your correct interpretation of the Herald media column, which Alan Wilkinson found distasteful.
In my view Holmes has every right to publish his opinion and the Herald was right to publish Hone Harawira’s response.
I have no intention (or hope) of silencing Mr Holmes.
But having read his personal and trenchant views about Maori it is very difficult to believe he can objectively interview people or moderate arguments about NZ race relations on Q & A.
He seems to have made up mind about what is the problem – and the problem appears to be with Maori and no-one else. End of debate.
Rest assured Mr Wilkinson – Holmes will not be sacked.
TVNZ is not troubled by comments which would be causing crisis meetings at any other state broadcaster.
Holmes has always been a liteweight, it’s all about him! no real indepth stuff, sensationalism is what’s its all about.
The mans a bloody Tory pissing in the pocket of his hero John Key.
John Drinnan: “TVNZ is not troubled by comments which would be causing crisis meetings at any other state broadcaster.”
It seems not to have learnt from Darkiegate and Henrygate. TVNZ is in name only these days – it’s more like TVNS now, or ‘Television North Shore’ – by the One Percenters, for the One Percenters. We need a Royal Commission à la Leveson or Finkelstein, and not before time.
So, Mr Drinnan, on the strength of one ‘trenchant’ article, Mr Holmes is no longer able to be objective when interviewing people about NZ race relations. I note that Mr Harawira is not precluded from commenting on race relations matters notwithstanding his previously expressed ‘trenchant’ views. In fact with his response to Holmes’ article one get the impression that beatification of Hone is the next step.
I will concede that Holmes’ views were forthright, but it is very difficult to witness the shambles that takes place at Waitangi every year without having an emotional reaction. That is why I said earlier about the event being polarising.
I found Chris Trotter’s articel in Friday’s Dompost interesting. It was a rather more reflective and objective view of Holmes article than we have read up to now.
Whether or not one agrees with Holmes the article was of value in that it has sparked debate, some of it rational. The meaning of Waitangi Day and the value of the treaty need to be discussed even if sometimes that discussion gets a bit heated. I do not believe for one moment that Holmes is a racist and neither is he precluded from future debate or comment on the issue.
John Drinnan continues to misrepresent Holmes as having trenchant views about Maori. He doesn’t. He has trenchant views about those who protest disgracefully and those who support that – irrespective of race. He may possibly have some trenchant views about the fat cats of the Treaty industry – that is unclear. The latter may merely be robust criticisms. In any event, his views are certainly specific to behaviour, not to race.
Stirring up the political chattering classes in broadcasting wonderland with a bit of deft misrepresentation is very easy and very irresponsible.
BE: If you say so, Alan. John Drinnan and I are just media shysters. You’re the only honest broker in town. OK? Can we leave it now please?
I agree with the people commenting with aghast, on the disturbing & disheartening amount of comments posted in in support of Mr Whathisnames vitriol. How revolting to witness more support for comments posted expressing fuckwittery, than the intelligent and considered ones!
I didn’t consider the protests at Waitangi this year as being specifically addressing Maori issues, yet this is how it is being couched and I find this yet another propaganda style delivery being applied to us; to push us to view this particular year’s protests in this way is an attempt to play into people’s innate racism/’culturism’/misinformedism (or whatever-u-call-it-these-days), and get them to ignore the real issues on the table. Oh how easily we are led.
I was happy to see asset sales being challenged,.
I was happy to see protests in response to a government who seems hellbent on dissolving any teeth our constitutional documents and laws-protecting-our-rights have.
I was extremely happy to read it reported that ‘Go home National’ was called out on Nushnulls departure from the proceedings; in my view, this is the only sane response to a group of people showing as much blatant disregard for the wellbeing & voice of large sections of the NZ population, as that party has been.
If colour is of concern, let me belabour the point: I’m sure a lot of white people as well as brown were taking additional interest and cheering, on witnessing what had gone on at Waitangi this year.
My only criticism was that the protests weren’t a little louder, however, good on them for being respectfully restrained allowing the proceedings to continue.
…And I consider that they were VERY restrained considering what is going on in this country at present.
Mr Key has had more than enough (including illegal) airtime to promote his party’s agenda.
I’m glad he didn’t get to finish his talk.
Thanks Protesters ☺
Ok Brian, I’ll leave you to enjoy the deeply rational support of the likes of Wilson.
Or you could just ask Paul if he has trenchant views about Maori as John alleges. I’m sure he’d tell you.
@ Alan Wilkinson
“John Drinnan continues to misrepresent Holmes as having trenchant views about Maori. He doesn’t. He has trenchant views about those who protest disgracefully and those who support that – irrespective of race”.
The problem with that is Holmes didn’t stick to just the protesters.
“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”.
There are no qualifiers here about “all”, “many”, or “most”, nothing about over-representation in negative statistics in comparison to the rest of New Zealand. Instead, it is “Maori”. I suspect you are right about what you wrote regarding Holmes’ views. However, its not other people’s fault, or “misrepresentation” if they take Holmes’ poorly crafted choice of words at face value.
The only way I think you could justify Holmes’ words is if you understand them ironically. The protesters, contrary to what the obnoxious wilson states above were not representative of anyone – other than the 1% who voted for the policies and methods of the Mana Party. Yet there they were, at Waitangi, drowning out all the attempts of the PM of all New Zealanders to address the gathered crowd, and the nation. The protesters arrogantly assume they are “representative” of Maori interests, and they speak on behalf of Maori.
IF you provisionally accept that scenario, then Holmes is, in effect saying, “OK – you speak for Maori? You are taking responsibility for Maori? Ok, then. I’ve got a bloody bone to pick with you – how come you are here, putting your energy into THIS, when your efforts would be better directed addressing the negative social issues that disproportionately beset Maori?”.
But he wasn’t careful enough to craft it that way, so that the vast majority of Maori who are good parents, and good people weren’t included in the blast of buck-shot.
And as Holmes is meant to be a great communicator/broadcaster, that is a poor effort, and he should have done better. But it ain’t a hanging offence.
Ben says:` I note that Mr Harawira is not precluded from commenting on race relations matters notwithstanding his previously expressed ‘trenchant’ views.
Well of course he does – Harawira is a politician seeking media coverage not someone fronting a publicly funded current affairs programme. He wants to be noticed – and so too in this media age do media figures like Holmes.
Beatification of Harawira you say – well he gets a good run these days.But I’d argue mainly because he is seen as a threat the the Maori Party – National coalition, and not because a bunch of lefty journalists are besotted with his notion of Maori sovereignty
There is no expectation Harawira should be objective and weigh up all arguments. There is that expectation from the presenter of a current affairs show like Q & A.
The closest comparison we have in advocacy journalism was with Willie jackson and Eye to Eye – which clearly cam from a Maori perspective – though that show did at least try to portray extreme both side of the argument. Politicians can make comments and so can opinionated journalists.
Maybe that is the answer – a Willie Jackson and Paul Holmes race relations Show- they could call it Ebony and Ivory.
The Drinnan Doctrine appears to go like this: “The vigorous expression of a personal view towards either pole of a contentious issue precludes the expressor of that view from objectively interviewing others about that issue or from moderating debate on it.”
Three reasons I disagree:
1. Its the holding of the view rather than its expression that may undermine objectivity. At least when the view is expressed I know its there. With many interviewers we can only deduce their views and may not be alert to the tricks they pull to serve an agenda (see the recent debate in the English newspapers around the BBC’s approach to climate change).
2. We tolerate wholesale ideological bias on the part of entire institutions (ABC, BBC and to a lesser extent National Radio) so why should we get all fussy about particular interviewers.
3. It is still possible to be partisan and promote good debate. That is one reason I post here. People don’t use text language or swear too much and some good exchanges of views occur. This being incidentally why I was a smidgen disappointed when BE ran the photos of JK last year with some disparaging comment – it just looked a bit to me like we’d moved from intelligent partisanship to wholesale promotion of the left. But fortunately we’ve moved on…
Anyway be pleased to hear other views.
A pleasure to see some rational contributions so I’ll reply.
“Old Tony”, in principle I agree. However, in Holmes’ case unless the issue is whether violent, interminable, shouting down protests at Waitangi are tolerable I see no evidence he has preconceived views.
Kimbo, yes, the sentence you quote would have been better for the word “some” in front of “Maori”. However, it has to be read in the context of claims that all Maori comprise an entity that signed the Treaty and are awarded significant rights under it. That is the entity that claims grievances, the right to be aggrieved and the right to be as rude and divisive as they wish every Waitangi Day – or so the likes of Hone and his supporters would have us believe.
Holmes was rhetorically ramming that entity back down Hone’s throat, pointing out that it has some responsibilities of its own that have not been met. Holmes is not a fool. Not for a second does he believe that all Maori cause these problems and neither does anyone with half a brain who read what he wrote. They are statistics, understand? Of course you do.
John Drinnan: “There is no expectation Harawira should be objective and weigh up all arguments. There is that expectation from the presenter of a current affairs show like Q & A.”
I thought we were well past the days of expecting the State Broadcaster to tell us what to think. I expect a current affairs show to expose relevant facts and opinions. I’ll decide what the conclusions should be, not the presenter, thanks.
I honestly can’t tell if Holmes is being ironic or not with the last sentence in his latest column:
“There are more important things. Like Trevor Mallard selling his tickets to a Wellington festival on Trade Me and clipping a very nice profit.”
And in fairness he leans liberal on disability issues in the same post. He also ripped into Michael Laws after Laws said nasty things about Paralympic athletes.
BE: Maybe he’s confused.
Alan. I expect a current affairs show to expose relevant facts and opinions. I’ll decide what the conclusions should be, not the presenter, thanks.
You could argue that. But would you have the same relaxed liberal view if Q & A were presented by Chris Trotter with weekly clips from Bryan Bruce?
Proper Tv current affairs is so rare nowadays we should keep taxpayer funded shows Q & A and The Nation clean.
Holmes is going to present a serious current affairs show he should not frame it with his opinions.
I’d feel the same way if Sean Plunket went on a personal rant about why he didn’t like a particular group ( though he wouldn’t because he probably respects the medium)
Its not just TVNZ. But the state broadcaster has been willing to stretch the objective boundary more than others – usually in the same direction of whichever party is in power at the time. Anybody remember Pam Corkery presenting the late news and interviewing Helen Clark? You might think TV current affairs has lost that distinction. I’d hope there is life in the old idea yet.
John, I don’t actually care what the political views of an interviewer or commentator are so long as the interviews and comments are intelligent and perceptive.
Some of the best political and economic journalism used to be in the days when Owen McShane and Bruce Jesson faced off in The Independent.
Chris Trotter is capable of useful stuff although he also writes some dreadful nonsense. Give me challenging and informed analysis with a point of view any day over neutral pap.
DeepRed, since you need a clue: he’s being ironic.
@ John Drinnan
“The closest comparison we have in advocacy journalism was with Willie jackson and Eye to Eye – which clearly cam from a Maori perspective – though that show did at least try to portray extreme both side of the argument. Politicians can make comments and so can opinionated journalists”.
i disagree strongly with much of Willie Jackson’s views, but I don’t begrudge him his advocacy perspective. Despite that, Jackson has a wonderful ability, perhaps drawn pratly from his cultural perspective, to let those with different viewpoints korero.
Would be happy to see him front Q&A. He is an under-utilised talent despite his current work on Radio Live.
‘Proper Tv current affairs is so rare nowadays… ‘
It is indeed. One reason why ‘Native Affairs’ should be required watching.
Another is that many of the people commenting here would do so armed with considerably more knowledge on things Māori than they do now.
Holmes only said what most of us think – stand on any street corner and ask the first 50 passers-by: “Is Waitangi Day a day of national celebration for all New Zealanders, or is it just a pissing contest most of us could do with avoiding?” I think the public’s reaction would curl the toes of half of the contributors to this site, but they’d just call them all racist rednecks anyway and ban them for life. Beats dealing with reason, I guess.
One must take Holmes’ piece in the correct context – he didn’t refer to all Maori (but you can read it that way if it strengthens your argument) – just those at Waitangi. When referring to the education and parenting stats he doesn’t refer to “all” Maori – simply those relevant. One may make the observation that the Japanese shouldn’t eat whale meat – most of them don’t anyway. But you can’t start a water cooler chat with phrases such as “the Japanese who eat whale meant shouldn’t do so until their suppliers find a humane way of butchering the beasts…”
The reader needs to see the generalisation for what it is. “Boy racers are young males who think they’re bullet proof”. Yea, right. Some of them are girls, few think they’re bullet proof and most young males aren’t boy racers. And I’m almost one and I’m 62.
Hone (mostly tongue-in-cheek: he’s a politician these days) draughted out the dreams of most of us for that day – sadly, it’ll never happen.
I’m not sure the primal culture photo at the top of the page is particularly relevant if one wishes to promote Maori as equal partners in New Zealand Inc (2012),but the young man certainly has envy-inducing dentition.
Think you were a bit harsh on Merv, Brian. Surely you have something slightly less fatal to slap him with?
BE: 12 thousand comments have been posted on this site from several hundred commenters. There are currently four people on the banned list, including Merv, who is a recidivist offender. You may also be interested to know that Merv has had 387 comments posted on this site. Only 2 people have posted more – Ben and me. Not exactly draconian censorship.
I appreciate the considered tone of your comment. I do agree that the issues Holmes raises needs discussion, yet I have deliberated and firmly concluded that the decision that the Herald made to print these sentiments, in the way that they were presented, was a very unsound one, because media need to be informing us, not inciting us into deeper ignorance.
You mention the term ‘beats dealing with reason’ in relation to possible responses of an ostracizing nature toward people who hold views aligned with what Mr H expressed, however; Mr H’s article is hardly presented in a way to encourage reasoned discussion. Far from discussion, the disseminating of an article like this is sending a clear message of confirmation to members of the public holding such views & doing absolutely noting to encourage further thought on the subject.
Mr Holmes (& all media) have the opportunity to address current affairs intelligently, in a way that enlightens us, or he (& all media) can cash in on the ‘cheap thrill’ approach; in doing so, they assist with the entrenchment of unhelpful views we hold & add nothing new or positive to our society.
The negative views re Maori issues, protesting, the Treaty of Waitangi, & many other problems arising of late, can be sorted with a bit of genuine information (something along the lines of what Mr Hone Harawira offered). Far from confirmation of our misinformed responses, we need information,. It appears our dull-minded media outlets, no longer see the advantage of providing such a service.
I completely deplore the state of our media.
I am thankful people protested at Waitangi. There are serious issues going on at the moment and people who criticise these (& other) protesters are clearly not up with the play. I implore people to, desist from shooting the messenger, and instead, focus your attention on what is being protested about.
“I appreciate the considered tone of your comment. I do agree that the issues Holmes raises needs discussion, yet I have deliberated and firmly concluded that the decision that the Herald made to print these sentiments, in the way that they were presented, was a very unsound one, because media need to be informing us, not inciting us into deeper ignorance”.
Translation: wilson doesn’t agree with the opinion stated, so s/he wants to censor a columnist (not a reporter!) who is expected to state forthright, possibly provocative opinions.
“Mr H’s article is hardly presented in a way to encourage reasoned discussion.”
Irrelevant. We are “discussing” it now, as are you. We are all big boys and girls, capable of thinking for ourselves.
“The negative views re Maori issues, protesting, the Treaty of Waitangi, & many other problems arising of late, can be sorted with a bit of genuine information…”
“(something along the lines of what Mr Hone Harawira offered).”
“I am thankful people protested at Waitangi”.
I’m not, although I’ll defend their right to do so. And yours. Just as it is my right, as it is Paul Holmes’ to hold their message and methods in contempt.
Pious words and sentiments don’t mean you aren’t trying to undermine democracy and freedom, wilson.
Wilson, that last is a good post that can be discussed. Just like the Waitangi protests, the messenger will get shot – or just ignored if luckier – if his presentation is grossly inappropriate.
“Mr Holmes (& all media) have the opportunity to address current affairs intelligently, in a way that enlightens us, or he (& all media) can cash in on the ‘cheap thrill’ approach; in doing so, they assist with the entrenchment of unhelpful views we hold & add nothing new or positive to our society.”
Don’t you see that this applies precisely to the protests? Key was at Te Ti to discuss issues and had specified the asset sales. Yet the protesters chose to shout and abuse him out of the place.
Holmes showed you the reaction this generated from most ordinary people, amplified by the fact that kind of intemperate rudeness and aggression has been going on for many years at Waitangi. We are over it. We are so sick of your behaviour we don’t care about your point, whatever you think it is, and we don’t want Waitangi to be our national day any longer.
Thank you, yes, that is a good point you make; both the protests & Holmes’s comments can generate the same response and the message can be shot, in fact, that’s an excellent point.
We might have ended up in a situation where both ‘sides’ are over listening to the others’ point of view. And I think that the media are not helping to resolve this polarizing of New Zealanders by their consistent decisions to not inform us, rather write emotive pieces of verbiage, or poorly researched guff. There is plenty of information they could be providing to encourage us into thinking both sides through and avoiding this intolerance that is [perhaps] building up.
Wouldn’t it be helpful, if our media encouraged intelligent discussion? Isn’t this their job? Is it o.k for our media to present issues in a grossly inappropriate way? Members of our media are apparently trained professionals, are they not? It must be remembered that protesters aren’t necessarily as formally educated, and that they get out and protest could indicate both the depth of feeling they have, desperation perhaps, and also an awareness that to follow that course of action on that particular day is a way of getting mainstream attention, which they simply don’t have access to any other time, unlike members of our media, ESPECIALLY well-known ones like Mr Holmes.
It is well also to acknowledge that the National party has access to present their agenda loud and clearly everywhere and anywhere. And they do.
I am biased on this subject, and stated that clearly, I support the protests. I accept that many people hold the views that you are elucidating; yet I know that many also hold the views that I am expressing. I therefore challenge you for referring to “MOST ORDINARY people…, WE are over it, WE are sick of YOUR behaviour…” If you look at the election results 51% of voters in the last election voted for parties that opposed asset sales I suggest to you that there are also a lot of people who are over having it suggested that our revenue generating assets are up for sale despite the huge public opinion against such a move.
I accept that not all who are against asset sales support the form of protest that occurred on Waitangi day, yet I would estimate a lot do; people are really pretty upset over this issue.
A lot of assumptions there, you appear to have missed a lot of what I commented on.
I made it very clear I didn’t agree with the opinion stated, no big expose there Kimbo, I really think this article crossed the line & I spent the rest of the time stating why and what could have been done differently for the same sentiments to have not crossed the line. The comments Mr Holmes made were pretty rough.
I stated very clearly that I agreed that the issues H raised needed discussing and then went on to state the reasons for why I thought it wasn’t such a good decision to print them “in the way that they were presented…” this part of my comment indicated that I thought it would have been better to have them expressed in a different form.
You responded to “hardly presented in a way to encourage reasoned discussion” as being irrelevant, that is your opinion, I beg to differ. We may be all capable of thinking for ourselves, yet we don’t all do it, and can be rather open to influence, if this weren’t the case we wouldn’t have huge amounts flowing toward spin doctors, advertising, market and opinion research and other such activities. As I said, there is another effect involved in disseminating such an extreme style of opinion, one of validating a certain type of vitriol that I think is really unhelpful.
I was using Mr Harawira’s response as a quick example; perhaps you don’t like his general stance, if so, it appears to have clouded your ability to see what I was attempting to convey. I will therefore take his name out of the point I was suggesting; one of writing that gives context, for example; a bit of historic background, to a problem helps understanding of the complexity/frustrations/depth of feeling of those involved and the issue. As I stated before, with tricky subjects this can aid us to think about the subject, rather than go into an unthinking emotive default.
My comments were based on an understanding that there is a conservative bias going on in the NZ media, I am railing at that. Is it reflecting popular opinion or creating it? I know a person was banned from returning to a radio show, just prior to election season; same context, there for opinion, for saying far less and I despise the double standards. While they exist in NZ there is only freedom of expression if you hold a certain ‘accepted’ stance, this is not freedom of expression, or information. Informed views being important for democracy, there is a threat to democracy in all this too.
“I stated very clearly that I agreed that the issues H raised needed discussing”
Disingenuous. When you say “discussing”, you mean discussing the things you want in the way you want and coming to the conclusions you think apply.
“We may be all capable of thinking for ourselves, yet we don’t all do it, and can be rather open to influence, if this weren’t the case we wouldn’t have huge amounts flowing toward spin doctors, advertising, market and opinion research and other such activities…We may be all capable of thinking for ourselves, yet we don’t all do it, and can be rather open to influence, if this weren’t the case we wouldn’t have huge amounts flowing toward spin doctors, advertising, market and opinion research and other such activities.”.
Or radical left-wing discontent merchants peddling their wares, thinking it is a good thing the democratically elected PM should be shouted down.
“While they exist in NZ there is only freedom of expression if you hold a certain ‘accepted’ stance, this is not freedom of expression, or information”.
Yes, sorry I missed the brown-shirts who must have marched down your street today. You are free to speak? Free to vote? Free to post your opinion? Check. Check. Check.
If there is fascist tendencies abroad in our fair land, wilson, then, despite your sweet reasoned prose, it is a little closer to home than you realise.
Like I said, you don’t like opinions that disagree with yours, so you seek to shut them down.
Wilson, thanks for another thoughtful response. It would take a whole separate blog to discuss the asset sales issue properly, so I’ll just break it into two parts.
First, the pros and cons of the issue. I think many people don’t understand economics, don’t understand free trade and are overly fearful of foreigners without appreciating the value of freedom of movement, ideas, actions and capital.
Second, the decision-making. If a majority of people have an opinion that the elected Government believes is wrong what should be done? I understand that the protestors feel frustrated and powerless, but I also believe they are exploited by cynical politicians who deliberately contribute to their misapprehensions and anger rather than mediating.
My preference is that we have binding citizens referenda. Now the consequence would most likely be that asset sales would be blocked. However, that would have the effect of sheeting home the consequences directly to the voters. With power comes unavoidable responsibility. Inevitably, in my view, the public would become more sophisticated in their understanding of economics and like the Swiss electorate that would lead to far better decision-making in the longer term.
BE: “…from several hundred commenters. There are currently four people on the banned list, including Merv, who is a recidivist offender.”
OK, in the overall scheme of things, I guess….clearly much bad water has fludd under the bridge before my time. Thanks for the explanation.
I have stated my thoughts on the matter and included reasoning for why I draw such conclusions and your retorts of ‘disingenuous’ or ‘irrelevant’ followed by a diatribe on what I am ‘really’ saying, without giving me a clue on how you are reaching such injudicious conclusions, is baffling.
That you state no reasoning for these seriously incorrect conclusions, I have no way of responding other than to suggest that you come out of the bubble of preconceived ideas you appear to be living in and actually engage with what another is saying, (as opposed to what you dictate they are saying).
You miss my points completely and your response of misguided nonsense presented in a ‘ I know what you are really saying’ format, is truly bizarre. No, sorry Kimbo, you don’t know what I’m really meaning; you are way off the mark.
Using words like ‘freedom’ in justification of ignorant hate speech, may suit your argument well in your mind, yet have you ever considered how promoting licence for those who disseminate thought patterns, ignorance and/or actions that lead to oppression of others, far from creating more freedom in our society, simply furthers the cause of oppression?
Ho hum. Thanks for the response, but I fear I am wasting your time, and vice versa. Time to wrap this up by observing that your insistence on the existence of a class-war, and corresponding analysis doesn’t necessarily make it so.
I did give reasoning for my position when I criticised you – there is no “oppression of others”, or at least there isn’t outside your less-than-objective dialectic analysis – as evidenced by the fact your are free to state your position, support political parties who adopt your position (The Mana Party’s views were clearly articulated and understood by the public – and yet they only managed 1%!) in this format, and others, to your heart’s content.
wilson – did it ever occur to you that there may have been a time when I would have completely agreed with you? Take my word for it – there was. However my views have changed. But it doesn’t mean I am incapable of discerning what you say, what you mean, and “so what?”.
“It must be remembered that protesters aren’t necessarily as formally educated, and that they get out and protest could indicate both the depth of feeling they have, desperation perhaps, and also an awareness that to follow that course of action on that particular day is a way of getting mainstream attention, which they simply don’t have access to any other time, unlike members of our media, ESPECIALLY well-known ones like Mr Holmes”.
Maybe. Or maybe they just can’t accept the reality of democracy – that their views are very well understood, yet strongly and rejected by the majority of the country, and when they amp up the stridency, they get a corresponding stridency of opposition. Read what I wrote above – Holmes was a goose, and racists like Rupert and WAKE UP will get short shrift from me. I don’t need you to lecture me on “promoting licence”. Feel free to arrogantly dismiss that opinion as misinformed. This is still a free country…