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Saturday, September 30, 2006

Is Don secretly working for Helen Clark?

In an attempt to clear up what Don had to say about Maaari not being an indigenous people – Don has sent the Herald an opinion piece which says if too many Maori die of lung cancer, it’s essentially their own fault.

What the fuck? Don attempts to make up for calling into question whether Maori are an indigenous people by telling them that it is their fault for being killed by lung cancer? Who is writing this mans speeches? Is it John Key? Only Don could turn an explanation into an accusation over lung cancer?! National can not win with Don as leader – look at this crazy shit he is saying – let’s put aside the fact that there are loopholes all over such a stupid exclamation in the first place – let’s just look at it from a tactical point of view. National needs to be seen as a lot more palatable to those Auckland middle class sensibilities, do you think that a) describing all of Maoridom as not indigenous and b) following that up by then blaming lung disease rates on Maori – how do you think that plays out in those areas of the population National are trying to woo across. This sort of talk is not going to win them over, it will confirm those suspicions that Don could do God knows what if elected. Helen was right about Don being cancerous, it’s the National Party he is killing though.


At 30/9/06 11:36 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you smoke ??

At 30/9/06 12:19 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So colonialism makes you smoke? And leave your babies unsupervised at the hot pools?

At 30/9/06 12:25 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does Don really believe this, or is it calculated? Does he think these sort of comments will win him and National marginally more votes than he will lose?

At 30/9/06 1:10 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its all Don knows. It worked a charm at Orewa. He's just struggling to get the formula right now, as tastes have changed.

My guess is that National will hold Don out in front as a sheild until 6 months or so before the election, then jettison him and let John Key ooze into the role unmarked and fresh-looking.

At 1/10/06 1:43 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dons Brash is coming into our job on Tuesday, boy is he in for rude awakening, 70% of workers here are maori, I ain't cancelling it either, about time he faces up to his mouth. I got my twistees and drink I am read for the show.

At 1/10/06 1:49 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brash 'Diddy said...
So colonialism makes you smoke? And leave your babies unsupervised at the hot pools?

What were you born in a campervan..... next you will say that colonialism did only good things.. The reason why a govt was setup here, was besiede the lawlessness of the colonials that flocked here, probably your forefathers.

At 1/10/06 4:17 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Boy, Don Brash sure knows how to put his foot in his mouth. He's quite clumsy and undiplomatic, even rude. But all those people jumping on him for it shouldn't be too quick to disagree with him. Do you really think that, if a Maori person smokes, that it isn't ultimately his or her choice?

Sure there are many things which pressure people to smoke: a dull life, stress, nervousness etc. Your mates might do it, and so on. Perhaps there are more of these pressures for Maori than Pakeha. But in the end aren't these excuses? Anyone who really wants to stop smoking can do it - or do you think Maori have less willpower than Pakeha?

Anyway, you don't have to like what Brash said. But don't go saying that if Maori smoke, that it isn't their fault.

At 1/10/06 4:45 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let me put it another way:

As a Pakeha, if I smoke it's not my boss's fault for putting pressure on me. It's not my wife's fault for shouting at me or my kid's fault for getting into trouble. It's not my father's fault for belting me when I was little or not being home often enough. It's not my mates' fault for doing it themselves. It's not society's fault if I can't find a decent job or I get laid off, the place I work gets shut down, or I get mugged or beaten up or have some other kind of bad luck happen to me. Now, would any of that be different if I were Maori?

If you're going to mention colonialism, then I don't think that's any better excuse. Some Pakeha were treated pretty badly by New Zealand society in the past, too. Perhaps in the past my ancestors were abused as "white chinamen". Hell, for all anybody knows my ancestors might have had to pay the poll tax and been forbidden from becoming citizens. But do you think I'd be able to give those as reasons for me not being able to give up smoking, and still keep a straight face? Let's not get too precious here just because Don said something that was a little, well, Brash.

At 2/10/06 10:39 am, Blogger Brewerstroupe said...

I loathe Don Brash.
When he descended to the leadership of the National Party I said that he is so politically stupid that I would leave the country if he ever became Prime Minister.

The following is an incredibly stupid statement, given the current political climate:

“Dr Brash said when the Treaty was signed in 1840 there were two distinct groups of people, but intermarriage meant this was no longer the case."
"This is not to deny that many New Zealanders choose to identify strongly with the Maori part of their ancestry, and with Maori culture. That is absolutely their right.

"But it is quite wrong to argue that, because Maori are over-represented in negative social statistics, the 'Crown', or the Government on behalf of all New Zealanders, has somehow failed to discharge its obligation under the Treaty.

"If Maori New Zealanders die more frequently from lung cancer than non-Maori do, for example, it is almost certainly because Maori New Zealanders choose to smoke more heavily than other New Zealanders do ...

"Similarly if there are relatively few Maori at the Auckland Law School - and that despite preferential arrangements for Maori - that is not a failing of the Government, but a result of decisions made by individual Maori," he said.

"Nobody would suggest that because there are relatively few European New Zealanders in the All Blacks, there has been a breach of the Treaty."

I cannot, however, dispute the FACT of what he has said. When I hear Pita Sharples say that he should not be allowed to make statements of fact, I hear the echoes of the “thought Police”.

I say again, Brash is an idiot and not fit for high office but in this case he seems to be making a case for individual responsibility. This is something I find difficult to dispute.

I describe myself as a fifth-generation Pakeha New Zealander. I can find no trace of Maori blood in my forebears.
I smoke.
My part-Maori descendents do not. These are choices that we, as individuals, have made and have nothing to do with the Treaty of Waitangi.
I dare say there will be those who, on the basis of these statements, will label me racist despite my having married into a Maori family and my work on behalf of fairness in land claims just as there are those who accuse me of being anti-Semitic because I speak out on behalf of Palestinians. So be it.

At 2/10/06 12:42 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

theres is no good thing about it,
once you've managed to quit that is. now as i can plainly see, if yr raisd around smokers yr likelihood of smoking: much greater. Poorer people smoke more. Maori are poorer than most here. why are they poorer? because they've been squashed for so many generations, denied, assimilated, denied, their bed and pillow smoothed for their passing and then whipped out beneath them and sold for white reasons. Maori were an inconvienience for so long and now they are an asset. This took 20 years, and the earlier deprivations of the preceding annihilative decades can not be undone so handily. There are Maori in N.Z. They are dying too young, and from nasty conditions of their enforced poverty, give them all the breaks you can and reap the benefits of a thriving healthy nurturing culture. Enough of the brash bash.

At 2/10/06 1:54 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

...because they've been squashed for so many generations, denied, assimilated, denied, their bed and pillow smoothed for their passing and then whipped out beneath them and sold for white reasons.

All of that may be true, but it doesn't change the fact that in the end, you are responsible for the choices you make. Nobody smokes because their ancestors were oppressed. That's nonsense, and it does Maori no credit to believe it. What about all the Pakeha who smoke, and Chinese, Samoans etc. Maybe we ought to invent some other race, to be a convenient scapegoat for them?

I don't have any problems with programmes targetting Maori to help them give up smoking, because it makes sense to put resources where they are needed most. Just don't go around saying that as a Pakeha, that it's my fault and I have an obligation under the ToW to do something about it. Where in the ToW does it say that the British crown was going to be some kind of sugar daddy who would be responsible for everything? As I said, I'm happy for my tax dollars to be used to help Maori give up smoking. But not because they are Maori, or because I or my people owe it to them in any sense. Simply because they are fellow New Zealanders.

At 2/10/06 3:22 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Peter, and others on this site, seems to think that oppression only happened in the past. In fact if you ask Maori (go on, despite media reports to the contrary, they don’t bite), you will find that racism is an every day experience for most. From school teachers who assume that brown kids are dumb and disruptive, and so treat them that way, to police who are more likely to routinely stop and question brown people, to landlords who tell you the flat has been taken as soon as they see the colour of your skin, to doctors who don’t offer you the best practice treatments because they assume that you won’t comply. This stuff is well documented in various academic studies. I don’t have time to find the links now, but they are not hard to find if you look.

Smaller incidents of prejudice happen every day; someone crossing the street when they see you coming because they are afraid of you, a shopkeeper or waiter who ignores you because they assume you have no money, the co-worker who tells a racist joke and then says ‘no offence’, and expects you to laugh. This little stuff gets you down when it happens constantly (and it does), and makes it hard to feel that you are a fully accepted and equal member of society. Even senior politicians feel free to tell you that you don’t exist. No wonder people find it hard to give up smoking – why bother of you don’t feel that you have a stake in society and the future? Good on those who try and succeed, but what’s the point of bashing those who find it too hard? No one deserves cancer. (And this from a politician who was so outraged at being called ‘cancerous’ only a week ago.)

My point is that oppression is not just in the past, something our ancestors did to each other, but a real, lived, everyday experience for most Maori, which affects health, wealth, and all aspects of life. There is no such thing as a level playing field.

P. S. The stuff about Maori genetic disposition to cancer (just like violence) is bullshit – it’s based on racist assumptions and extremely dodgy science. The reason that it has not been published in any peer-reviewed journal is because the peer-reviewing process tore it to shreds. There is, however, real scientific evidence that Maori cancer is not picked up by doctors as early, or treated as aggressively, as cancer in Pakeha – hence some of the differential in death rates. There is a link to the Otago University study on the Health Department web site, if anyone is interested.

At 2/10/06 4:36 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alice, at least the points you raise are more valid and thought-provoking than some of the people posting here. All I can say is that I wish I were in a position to evaluate your claims. It would be interesting to disguise myself as a Maori, then try going to various doctors and see whether or not I was treated differently.

I'd question whether some of what you describe as "oppression" deserves that title. Being beaten up because of the colour of your skin, having land or property confiscated, or being refused entry to a university is oppression. Having someone cross the street when they see you, or tell a racist joke - rude perhaps, but hardly in the same category. Also, I suspect that people who expect to find racism everywhere, possibly find it where it doesn't exist in the first place. For example, applying for jobs can be a pretty soul-destroying experience. By all accounts it's pretty normal to get rejection after rejection. As a Pakeha there isn't really much you can do except keep trying, without necessarily any guarantee that you'll succeed in the end. For a Maori person, you might take this as evidence that you're being discriminated against when really there is no way to know, and probably isn't any different to what a Pakeha would experience. But of course once you start thinking this way it would become easy to give up- why keep trying if you already "know" the system is against you? In this way, not only would you be perpetuating the idea that discrimination is everywhere (because you'd certainly talk to your mates about it), you'd also have become one Maori person "let down" by the job market.

At 2/10/06 5:43 pm, Blogger Brewerstroupe said...


I appreciate your thoughtful post.
I do not doubt that in some cases you are correct.

Often, however, instances of supposed prejudice are wrongful perceptions. As a landlord, I have often had to turn Maori away. Those people probably perceived prejudice to be the reason. In fact, some have told me so.
Twice, recently, I have fervently hoped that Maori families would take up a tenancy.
My decisions are based on other criteria - references, suitability and solvency. As someone who depends on rent being paid to support a very modest lifestyle, I must always give priority to someone who presents references and has the resources to pay the bill. I know that most Landlords think likewise as good tenants are highly prized, no matter what colour.
I cannot speak for teachers nowadays but I can say that my part-maori children have never experienced the prejudice that you describe. To the contrary, the schools that my children attended seemed to me to be somewhat pro-maori.

I would be interested to know of prejudice in the medical profession and urge you to post any information that you have on the subject.
I once had a pounamu amulet wrenched from my neck during the course of a severe beating administered to me by several maori thugs. I was beaten because I wasn't privileged to wear such a symbol, not being maori. Another maori saved me from possible permanent injury. The amulet had been given me by my maori wife. I haven't seen it since. It was a treasured possession.
So what do I make of this?
I think the enemy is ignorance.

At 2/10/06 7:43 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course not every instance of rudeness or rejection is motivated by racism, but if you talk to Maori, and take notice of the way that many white people behave around and to Maori in public, I think that you will see that (low-level as well as overt) racist behaviour is far more pervasive than many Pakeha realise (often it’s so deeply engrained and unconscious that they don’t even realise the effect of what they are doing). Also, Don Brash’s rhetoric seems to have given license to far more openly racist talk in the media and in public recently. (Although maybe it is a good thing that it is in the open so it can be discussed and confronted)

How many times do you need to be asked how much ‘tangi leave’ you’re going to take, at job interviews before you can assume that the rejections have something to do with race? (true story). I think that you’ll find that most Maori have stories of prejudice, and if it makes them over-sensitive to public rudeness, who can blame them? My point was that, while many of these incidents may be small on their own, cumulatively, they wear you down and make you wary of engaging with mainstream society.

Brewerstroupe, I know that most landlords value good tenants, but it’s also true that many are not as enlightened as you, and automatically assume that brown tenants equal trouble. How am I supposed to account for the incident when you were beaten up? I wasn’t there and I don’t know the circumstances. I can’t speak for all Māori, just like their actions are not representative of all Māori, although you wouldn’t think so if you read much mainstream media. The point remains that a lifetime of prejudice tends to alienate to you from the values of mainstream society.

This is the link to the cancer study:
This is the link to ‘Decades of Disparity’; a study into ethnic health disparities and some of the causes:

These reports have a lot of epidemiological jargon and statistics, and of course they are careful about using the ‘R’ word – racism. But they talk about the differential access that Māori have to healthcare and the unequal treatment they receive. The main point they make is that Māori health statistics are worse than Pakeha at every socioeconomic level, and that the gap is getting wider, showing that health disparities are caused by something more than relative poverty levels. There is much more work on this: some of their references will point you towards more on this complex topic.

At 2/10/06 8:40 pm, Blogger Brewerstroupe said...


Many pakeha have experienced the same kind of "extreme prejudice" as I.
I have also been assaulted, on a marae where I was a guest, while I held my colicy baby in my arms. My point is that, in my mind, the maori who did this and the maoris who beat me and stole my taonga were thugs. I do not hold maoridom responsible for their actions.

Is it not the case that many instances of abuse by pakeha on maori are given the label racist when they are simply the actions of thugs and cretins?

Similarly I do not call the shocking neglect of men's health issues an example of gender bias. It is ignorance. It is up to men to make their case and seek better care.

I do not think that I would experience prejudice at your hands and I know that you would not at mine. Why is this?
Could it be that we have learned a civil way to communicate? That we are not ignorant of common decency and manners?

Incidently, I haven't thought of those instances of abuse for many years. It was actually my efforts to truly understand your point of view that brought me around to seeing them them as possible examples of prejudice that had happened to me. I guess that is what you mean about the over-sensitiveness. It pakeha were in the habit of labelling such instances "prejudice" perhaps I would have seen them as such from the beginning.

At 2/10/06 9:21 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alice, Brewer.

Your posts have started me thinking. I am a writer. My articles are published in several magazines and my short stories have won awards.
I have written two books, one of which has received high critical acclaim by a Professor of English Literature among others. The manuscript has been returned to me by several New Zealand publishers with a note saying that it is a very good story and very well written.
These publishers have published books that my editor, many other well-read people and I, I’m bound to say, consider lesser works than mine. The difference seems to be that the writers are Maori and Irish.
My Editor tells me that Irish is fashionable and Maori is always going to be published if has any merit at all. I have always accepted this and realise that I must try that little bit harder. Your posts have made me wonder it this is some kind of reverse discrimination at work. I know other writers and artists who complain of the same thing.

At 3/10/06 11:56 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joyce - There's no such thing as reverse discrimination.

discrimination is discrimination is discrimination.IMO.


At 4/10/06 12:29 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a modest landlord I found obese people the worst. They are to unfit to do any work, mowing the lawn just about killed one fat cow and she couldn't get down on the floor to clean.

As for race I have been robbed by them all but that was when I was in my liberal phase, am over that now.

My main thing is working - if you work for it you know the value of money. Beneficiaries on the whole had no understanding of money and saw me as another department of WINZ who owes them everything.

At 5/10/06 2:56 pm, Blogger Bomber said...

Well I'm glad Anon above here got to have his hate jerk off over beneficaries - nice to know slumlord bigots still exist I suppose, I thought we had killed them all off in the 50s

At 7/10/06 9:31 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bomber, your comment above is far more bigoted than Anon's. There are plenty of fair-minded landlords who would endorse Anon's remarks. I am one.
Beneficiaries are very high risk tenants. It is a fact.

Your view of landlords is a stereotype equivalent to "lazy Maori", "violent Samoan".

Many old folk depend on a rental unit, the product of a lifetime's saving to provide an income. They are oftentimes cheated and abused by just such people as Anon describes.

At 8/10/06 1:25 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pensioner - Agreed. I have a few flats and endeavor to have working people in them.The one time in six years that we have been ripped off both parties were on the dole. We try to keep rents down to keep tenants for the longer term but at the end of the day you have to protect your investment and if that means no one on a benefit then thats the way it is.

Boomer views 'landlords', as a whole, as one of his many enemies. Don't try to talk sense to him, he is incapable of moving from his bigoted views.


At 8/10/06 2:42 pm, Blogger Bomber said...

AB - YOU ARE A LANDLORD? My God that is a frightening thought - I've seen some of the evil you spit on this site - you must make the blood of your tenants run cold!


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