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The New Write


THE NEW WRITE

Official Newsletter of the New Zealand Young Nationals

"A liberal is someone who feels a great debt to his fellow man, which debt he proposes to pay off with your money." -G. Gordon Liddy

1. A WORD FROM THE PREZ

2. BILL ENGLISH SPEECH - ABOLISHING THE MAORI SEATS

3. CONTROVERSIAL RADIO SHOW HITS THE AIRWAVES

4. HOT GOSS FROM PARLIAMENT

5. FRENCH JOKE OF THE WEEK

6. WEBSITE OF THE WEEK

1. A WORD FROM THE PREZ

A change of tack this week as I turn my eye closer to home. Race relations are always a tricky issue and have become more so as cringing political correctness makes it nearly impossible to question anything without being labeled a racist. In the last week I have seen several apparently unconnected items that make me wonder whether we can ever go forward with one standard of citizenship.

Firstly there was the unsurprising news that Joris de Bres, the race relations commissioner, has decided that he is in fact above the law. In other words he can go around the country judging other peoples actions with impunity. That makes it OK for de Bres to liken non-Maori to the Taleban but completely inappropriate for you and I to be offended.

Then I happened to be reading a piece of literature that is designed to help me be a better lawyer. Part of it covered cultural issues and the usual warnings to be aware of cultural differences and how the law can be confusing to people from different cultural backgrounds. Fair enough, although the law can be confusing to anybody! The came this line:

"Our policy is based on a recognition of Te Tiriti o Waitangi [The Treaty] and the partnership it establishes between Maori as the Tangata Whenua, and Pakeha as settlers."

I would have to admit to being floored, I re-read the statement and found it as offensive as I had previously. Somehow Maori have a special affinity with New Zealand that I not only do not have but can never have. I have no doubt many Maori, and for that matter many individuals, have a different affinity but that does not make it any better and worse than another New Zealander's. Is it too much to ask that we are all treated, and respected, as New Zealanders?

Finally I happened to read an article in the Press regarding a nasty e-mail sent to rookie United MP Marc Alexander. It was from Puti Hauraki a director of a Maori mental health organisation and in response to Mr Alexander suggesting that a Maori television channel was a waste of taxpayer 's money. Somehow trying to ensure that the taxpayers money is spent properly was too much for Mr Hauraki and he sent an e-mail. Labelled "You dickhead" the highlights included telling Mr Alexander to "Piss off to where you come from that's under the stone you have just crawled out from Kia Kaha to Maori TV you are nothing but a m*****f****r do you know who your mother is."

I do not think that it is too much of a stretch to suggest that this goes beyond the range of robust discourse over a sensitive issue. It would be equally offensive to suggest that the attitude of Hauraki is representative of all Maori and the PC-left however attitudes such as his are as destructive to society as a pakeha racist and he should be treated in the same manner. He should lose his job.

There are difficult issues to be worked through including Maori seats (see Bill English's comments below) and outstanding Treaty settlements must be settled. Hysteria and marginalising swathes of society is not the way to go about it.

2. BILL ENGLISH SPEECH - ABOLISHING THE MAORI SEATS

"National believes that in a democracy our common citizenship does limit any special status for Maori.

"Why is it when Maori at long last have acquired full and equal citizenship, is the Government creating new rights that no one else has? Surely the time has come to ask why it is we continue to have separate representation in Parliament.

"In 1867 the Maori Representation Act created what at the time was described as four "temporary" seats. State paternalism over Maori representation has denied Maori rights as citizens for most of New Zealand's history.

"Did you know that:

-It was not until 1967 that the prohibition against those on the Maori roll standing as candidates in general electorates, and vice versa, was lifted?

-It was not until 1949 that for the first time prepared electoral rolls were used in the conduct of Maori elections?

"In 1986, the Royal Commission on the electoral system proposed that under MMP there would be no separate Maori seats, no Maori roll and no Maori option. It pointed out that separate seats encouraged Maori MPs to look after only Maori interests and provided limited incentive for MPs in general seats to respond to Maori interests.

"Today, more Maori than ever are in Parliament and they are spread across several parties. MMP has seen the first female Pacific Island MP. There are two Asian MPs.

"These developments are welcome. I say the Maori seats fulfilled a purpose, but their time is now over.

"In my view, it is time to show we believe in New Zealand, that we can offer to each citizen sufficient freedom and integrity that they can be represented, have their say and reach their potential.

"And the challenge for Labour will be to select Maori candidates in general seats.

"I will be seeking the support of my Caucus and the party for a policy to bring an end to the Maori seats.

"This will be part of a wider citizenship policy I will release later this year which reflects my view that Maori have the capacity to participate the same as any other citizen."

Read the whole speech at http://www.national.org.nz

3. CONTROVERSIAL RADIO SHOW HITS THE AIRWAVES

A new student radio station has launched in Wellington - Munt FM 88.7, the official station for Massey University students in Wellington.

The station has a New Zealand music quota of 60% and is 100% commercial free, thanks to funding from Massey University Wellington and M@WSA, the students association.

Wednesday nights from 8pm is "The Porritt Show", a controversial mix of music, jokes, and political discussion. Last week the special guest was National Party Leader Bill English (see hot goss item below).

Previous guests have included Kenny the Busker and Kevin Doyle, a former employee of US President George W. Bush. Later this month Wellington Mayor Kerry Prendergast will feature.

Perhaps the most controversial show was "The Drinking Special", during which hosts Nick, Steve and Phil became intoxicated live-on-air. This is believed to be a first in New Zealand broadcasting history.

Political junkies may recognise one of "The Porritt Show"s contributors - Sneaky R. Wilson, who provides celebrity goss from Hollywood and around the world.

However the station has been slammed by Student Choice spokesman Clint Heine.

"Why is Massey University using taxpayer and student money to fund a radio station that has nothing to do with its core business of teaching and research? Both Massey University and M@WSA are obviously flush with cash taken from long-suffering students and taxpayers," said Mr Heine. (Fair question, Clint - ed)

4. HOT GOSS FROM PARLIAMENT

By New Zealand's finest investigative journalist, Sneaky R Wilson.

A fat edition this week - let's start with news from Parliament's debating chamber, after an absolutely terrible week for Labour.

*Scandal! As you may have heard, Green MP Ian Ewen-Street has resigned from the Select Committee investigating Scampi (or should that be "skanky"?) after forming a "friendship" with a lawyer representing one of the submitters. All sides seem to accept that the inquiry has not been compromised - although some believe otherwise.

Observers tell me that they had wondered for some time how Mr Ewen-Street seemed to have an uncanny knack of knowing which questions to ask, and of which particular lines to pursue.

If nothing else, this scandal has added a new euphemism - "friendship" – to political vocabulary. It ranks with the famous comment by a former British spin doctor, who told journalists that the Minister was not drunk, he was just "tired and emotional".

*Judith Tizard found a gap in her social calendar last week and was able to attend Parliament, but found herself in trouble for wearing a t-shirt promoting New Zealand music month. ACT leader Richard Prebble quoted standing orders which require such clothing to be removed - thankfully she didn't.

Ms Tizard's only other contribution to Parliament over the last 12 months has been her knitting.

*Eyebrows were raised by Speaker Jonathan Hunt's warning to Conservation Minister Chris Carter about misleading the House - "If he does that, I'll jump on him as hard as I can!"

A disturbing mental image in more than ways than one.

*Meanwhile, Labour are at a loss to know what to do with deputy Speaker Ann Hartley. Perhaps the most incompetent person to ever sit in the Chair, she has been mercilessly tormented by Gerry Brownlee and Rodney Hide over the last year. It all came to a peak on Thursday when she tried to throw Richard Prebble out of the House. He refused to go, hurling abuse at her before the Sergeant -at-arms escorted him out.

Almost everyone else in the Labour caucus has been given a cushy job, so there isn't much left for Helen to offer her - we already have the biggest executive in New Zealand history, and they are running out of countries to appoint her to. I understand they will reduce her shifts, asking Jonathan Hunt to take the Chair whenever the opposition are playing up.

I asked an opposition MP if he felt any pangs of guilt at the regular savagings handed out to Ms Hartley in the House. "Nope," he replied. "She wanted the job, she takes the extra salary home every week, so she has to learn to do the job properly."

*Meanwhile Acting Corrections Minister Rick Barker was given a dressing down by Helen's media minders for his blundering during question time. Under pressure from Winston Peters, he repeatedly insisted that home detention was only used for non-violent offenders. Later that day he was forced to admit he was wrong, and sheepishly apologised. Don't expect to see him answering questions in the House again anytime soon.

*So, a rough week in Parliament. But Government brown-nosers Chen and Palmer have an explanation for the chaos, in their latest newsletter - it's all the fault of the naughty Opposition for asking too many questions!

Of course, its got nothing to do with weaselly Ministers not answering questions and hiding information, has it?

Of particular note last week was the shameful performance of Chris Carter, with his "memory lapses" and subsequent apologies, and the rare spectacle of the Speaker forcing him to answer questions again because his first attempts were so woeful.

If the general public could see what actually happens day-to-day in Parliament, instead of what the media decides to cover, who knows what the polls would be saying right now!

*On a totally unrelated point, I couldn't help noting in the just-released electoral returns that the journalist's union (Engineers, Printers and Manufacturing Union) gave $70,000 to the Labour Party last year. They gave nothing to any other Party.

*Oh dear - of all the unfortunate names your parents could give you, this is perhaps the worst. Check out this website - it is not a joke - of a British city councillor:

http://www.staffordshire.gov.uk/live/dynamic/cllr/CllrDetails.asp?CllrID=18

Some questions immediately spring to mind: -Why did his parents call him that? -What happened to his eye? -How did he get elected - did the name help? And -What on earth was I searching for to have stumbled across this website?

*It must be a full moon or something - not only do Winston Peters and Craig McNair have new girlfriends, but so does Morning Report host Sean Plunkett. I understand the new couple have even brought a house together.

*Speaking of Craig McNair - after six months of investigating, he STILL hasn't figured out who Sneaky R Wilson is. His poor staff have been asking around yet again, after the stunning expose of his shenanigans in a Wendys burger bar.

For those interested, I can tell you that today is Sneaky R Wilson's birthday and he is 25 years old.

*Finally, some more dirt on Bill English! Big Willie appeared on controversial Wellington student radio station Munt FM this week (see story above), and the skillful interviewers managed to coax the following morsels of information out of him:

-He used to be on his hostel drinking team at University.

-Meatloaf is his favourite all-time singer, and "Stuff and Nonsense" by Split Enz his favourite New Zealand song.

-He watches the trashy TV show "American Idol".

-He likes Catherine Zeta-Jones, and is not happy about her recent marriage to Michael Douglas, describing it as a "criminal waste of talent." (I really hope Mary does not read this - ed)

"Is she still married to him?" he bemoaned. "Why? He's so old!"

*In other radio news, TVNZ has served a cease and desist order on a certain radio DJ for repeating persistent (but false, I believe) rumours about the sexuality of a certain TV personality.

*And I hear that two female TV personalities are now a couple, much to the displeasure of their former (female) partners!

*A certain Dominion Post journalist in the gallery is bit grumpy this week, and I know why - she took her coffee machine apart to clean it, then put it back together, but found there were three extra pieces left over. Try as she might, she cannot get it working again. Moral of the story - leave mucking around with machines to men! (Sneaky - you get the hate mail this week - ed).

*Labour MP Jill Pettis is the latest MP to suddenly discover her cultural roots - like United MP Bernie Oglivy, she now claims she is Maori!

Interestingly, National MP Clem Simich actually is part-Maori - although he has never claimed it because he doesn't think it's significant enough.

*Parliamentary Services claims that Parliament has saved more than 15% in power over the last weeks. This is despite the Beehive leaving it's lights on on Saturday night, to the disgust of 35,000 rugby fans leaving the Wellington stadium.

*A reputable source of mine from the UK says that London Mayor Ken Livingstone told fellow guests at a recent dinner party that he loves going for walks in the countryside, "Because you can have sex against the trees". Yuck.

*Word around Parliament is that new Labour MP David Parker is not exactly a happy man. He is a self-made millionaire and an IT expert who could be earning millions out in the real world, but is finding the role of a Government backbench MP hardly glamorous or influential.

In fact, most staff in the Beehive have more influence than him - his two most important jobs are to sit on a Select Committee and vote how the Government tells him (he voted against an inquiry into Corngate), and to ask humiliating patsy questions in the House. (That's OK David, you can go back to your old job after the next election - ed).

*Health Minister Annette King is normally a jovial sort of person, but if there's one thing that winds her up, it's National Health spokesperson Dr Lynda Scott. Ms King was so furious at recent press statements by Dr Scott that she emailed a remarkable personal message to her, telling her that since she "acts like she knows everything", she won't need to attend the briefing on the SARS virus. She went anyway.

*Finally….Winston Peters revealed what a true gentleman he is at a recent Parliamentary function. A young lady tripped up while carrying a tray, painfully spraining her ankle. Winnie roared with laughter and gleefully pointed out the spectacle to fellow partygoers, without even bothering to stand up and help. Charming.

Till next time…My lips are sealed!

-Sneaky R Wilson

5. FRENCH JOKE OF THE WEEK

An American, a Dutchman and a Frenchman are all in Saudi Arabia, sharing a smuggled crate of booze when, all of a sudden, Saudi police rush in and arrest them.

The mere possession of alcohol is a severe offense in Saudi Arabia, so for the terrible crime of actually being caught consuming the booze, they are all sentenced to death!

However, after many months and with the help of very good lawyers, they are able to successfully appeal their sentences down to life imprisonment. By a stroke of luck, it was a Saudi national holiday the day their trial finished, and the extremely benevolent Sheikh decided they could be released after receiving just 20 lashes each of the whip.

As they were preparing for their punishment, the Sheikh announced: "It's my first wife's birthday today, and she has asked me to allow each of you one wish before your whipping."

The Dutchman was first in line, he thought for a while and then said: "Please tie a pillow to my back."

This was done, but the pillow only lasted 10 lashes before the whip went through. When the punishment was done he had to be carried away bleeding and crying with pain.

The Frenchman was next up. After watching the Dutchman in horror he said smugly: "Please fix two pillows to my back." But even two pillows could only take 15 lashes before the whip went through again and the Frenchman was soon led away whimpering loudly (as they do).

The American was the last one up, but before he could say anything, the Sheikh turned to him and said: "You are from a most beautiful part of the world and your culture is one of the finest in the world. For this, you may have two wishes!"

"Thank you, your Most Royal and Merciful highness", the American replied. "In recognition of your kindness, my first wish is that you give me not 20, but 100 lashes."

"Not only are you an honorable, handsome and powerful man, you are also very brave," The Sheikh said with an admiring look on his face.

"If 100 lashes is what you desire, then so be it. And your second wish, what is it to be?" the Sheikh asked.

The American replied: "Tie the Frenchman to my back." (This one is Sneaky's fault, I really intended to stop French jokes, honest. - ed)

6. WEBSITE OF THE WEEK

http://www.whichcountryisnext.com

Vote for which country you think the US should invade next. France is number one, but New Zealand is climbing. Check out some of the reaons people have put - very funny and insightful.

Any views expressed here are not necessarily those of New Zealand Young Nationals, or the New Zealand National Party.

Contributions, feedback, articles and subscriptions welcome. Email mailto: mailto:newwrite@national.org.nz

Editor: Grant Tyrrell


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