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New Zealanders must read new book says publisher

Two out of three New Zealanders must read new book says publisher

A survey conducted on behalf of the State Services Commission in March 2004 found such low levels of understanding about the Treaty of Waitangi amongst the New Zealand general public that only one in three Kiwis know the year the Treaty was signed.

The study concluded that for most the Treaty was shrouded in conflict and confrontation, with discussions on the Treaty and race relations invariably turning into arguments.

Some said that they shied away from wanting to learn more about the Treaty and race relations as they did not wish to cause offence, and felt that there was a lack of neutral information on the Treaty that they could trust.

But finally a book published on June 9th digs behind the slogans, myths, insults and misconceptions on all sides of the current Treaty and race debate to answer vital questions about who we are and where we are heading.

In Bullshit, Backlash and Bleeding Hearts: A confused person’s guide to The Great Race Row, (Penguin Books, $28.00) author David Slack leads us through the political minefields, talkback swamps and dinner party battles to answer such vital questions as:

Where did Pakeha backlash come from?

Just how ‘privileged’ are Maori?

Is there really no such thing as a “real” Maori anymore?

Does anyone know what the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi really are?

Is Don Brash exploiting ignorance or is he just saying what needs to be said?

Is racism behind the entire debate, or are many Kiwis simply fed up with political correctness in general?

How do we move forward from here?

“Whatever anyone thinks of what Don Brash has been saying about the Treaty and race relations, he has been right about one thing: New Zealanders are confused about the issues,” says Penguin Commissioning Editor Finlay MacDonald.

“David Slack has taken up the challenge thrown down by Brash and has set out to explain the reasons for that confusion. “By examining the origins of the race debate and the way the Treaty has come to mean all things to all people, Bullshit, Backlash and Bleeding Hearts provides an invaluable guide to moving beyond the current stalemate.”

Utilising a wide range of sources, from the politicians driving the debate to acknowledged experts and the best cultural commentators, McDonald says Bullshit, Backlash and Bleeding Hearts is a timely book for all New Zealanders, regardless of political persuasion or skin colour.

“It will make an important contribution to this vital debate.”


About the Author
David Slack was born and schooled in Feilding 1960, before graduating in law from Victoria University. He worked in advertising and PR before the opportunity to be speech writer for Minister of Justice - Geoffrey Palmer, came up, a post he began in 1989. When Geoffrey Palmer became Prime Minister a few months later, David continued to write for him as well as penning speeches for a number of other New Zealand politicians. In 1994, David devoted himself fulltime to speechwriting, and set up, a website which enables users to generate speeches automatically, that has an international clientele. His columns appear on the popular New Zealand web log PublicAddress.Net. He lives in Devonport with his wife and daughter.

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