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Will Brownlee apologise to Finland or resign?

Written By: - Date published: 9:13 am, March 27th, 2012 - 113 comments
Categories: Gerry Brownlee, International - Tags: ,

The lead story on Helsingin Sanomat, Finland’s largest newspaper is about the “violent comments” of Gerry Brownlee. Can’t this government go more than a couple of months without embarrassing us on the international stage?

Brownlee told some pretty bad lies about Finland. How would we react if a foreign politician said the same about NZ? We’d go off our fucken self-righteous rockers, that’s what we would do. It would be wall to wall coverage, endless wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Time to apologise or resign, Gerry.

It’s not just that he was insulting, it’s that he was wrong. Finland ranks very highly in most measures of well-being, and Brownlee was straight out lying in several of his claims –

Has less growth than us – in the past two years, Finland has grown over 7% to NZ’s 2%

Can hardly feed the people who live there – um, it’s not an agricultural country, it makes it wealth through high-tech. It’s people aren’t starving as Brownlee implies.

has a terrible homicide rate – It’s 13% higher than here and 17th best in the world.

hardly educates its people – Finland has the best education system in the world. It is distinguished by the high social status of teachers and the flexible curriculum, totally at odds with the US ‘standards’/’performance pay’ model that National is importing

has no respect for women – Finland elected its first female President in 2000. It’s first female PM in 2007. It has had more women then men in Cabinet. It’s a struggle to even name the most senior woman in our Cabinet. DPMC says it’s Judith Collins, ranked number 5. Finland was the first country in the world to give women the vote (wait, what? Well, women got general suffrage in 1906 and the Finns contend that makes them the first country to give women the vote because we were just a British colony and our Parliament wasn’t sovereign, but their Parliament was under the Russian Empire in 1906 – so let’s call that a draw).

In the days when being a minister carried a weight of dignity and responsibility to it – as it still does in countries like Finland – a minister would resign without being pushed after an incident like this. It is, simply, the right thing to do when you are a minister and you bring your country into disrepute.

In Brownlee’s case, I doubt we can find a lever long enough to wedge him from his limo seat and he won’t go out of principle.

A Finnish friend emailed me after I said sorry about our jerk of a minister –

“luckily New Zealand’s not full of them, we all have our jerks
we just talked about it during lunch with co-workers
just people were surprised about it, as usually positive things are said about NZ
it was like Dalai Lama would tell someone to F off
i just had to explain that jerks are mostly in your Beehive”

True that.

Meanwhile, a Finnish political satirist is giving us a taste of our own medicine. Guess we can’t whine about this –

113 comments on “Will Brownlee apologise to Finland or resign?”

  1. higherstandard 1

    I didn’t know Bomber Bradbury could speak finnish.

  2. Takere 2

    … Brown Lee the Pie Murder had better watch-out! Being a fat c%#t he’s given the Finn’s plenty of ammo to harpoon his fat ass!Haha! Let the games commence! Sack the fat bastard for being a complete imbecile!

  3. Karl Sinclair 3

    Unfortunately in the case of Brownlee, Bennett… etc the Cult of Average is upon us. Constipated with their own self importance.

    What a muppet.

    Love the pxxx take of NZ. Thanks for causing that Jerry…. maybe you could do a 101 course in Diplomacy.

    The National Party – Performing Below Average since 13/05/1936.

  4. ianmac 4

    Brownlie said his words were meant as a joke. Really???!!!

    • Jim Nald 4.1

      This is no laughing matter. Brownlee’s utterance, in effect, ridiculed Finland. By being such a cock, this is the Leader of the House reducing NZ’s worldwide name and the debates in our legislative chamber to laughing stock.

      His jibes must be publicly condemned by all NZers, and other Parliamentarians must disclaim him as their peer.

    • Lanthanide 4.2

      Yip. A small number of NZers may also find it funny, but I think most will think that Gerry is an embarrassing buffoon.

      What I’d like to see is some Finnish big-wig echo Winston’s statements about him being an illiterate wood-working teacher, and then saying “just joking!”.

    • David H 4.3

      I did not see anything funny in what he said. He must have a weird sense of humour.

    • Fortran 4.4

      Having Googled Finland with specific reference to Brownass’s comments I cannot find that the information he gave is wrong. Blame Google.

  5. Simon Poole 5

    I’d just like to point out that having a higher homicide rate is a *bad thing*.

    Of course, their rate is still incredibly low – 2.0 per 100k, vs. 1.76 per 100k for NZ, compared to a world-wide average between 6.9 and 7.6 depending on the numbers you use.

    • rosy 5.1

      … NZ 1.76/100,000 and Finland 2.0/100,000? now let me round that for you…. How significant is that?

      • If we baseline it at four million instead to see roughly how many people that actually equates to losing in New Zealand terms, we get 70.4 and they get 80. Hardly a rounding error to lose an extra 9 or 10 people a year. Likewise, the stats they’re beating us on aren’t as marginal as you might think when they use small numbers.

        • rosy 5.1.1.1

          True, but it appears to me that we’re only one bad year away from matching Finland’s stats – especially if that coincides with Finland having a good year. This appears likely as there trend seems to be stable or reducing, and ours rising.

    • Fair enough, Simon. But I wouldn’t try to draw conclusions on one year’s statistics.

      Here’s the stats on recorded homicides (and related offences?) for New Zealand since 1994.

      Note that in 2009 there were 127 offences in this category. In 2010 there were 97; 2008 102. 

      It’s up and down quite ‘significantly’. 

  6. HPT 6

    Tuomas Enbuske Talk Show video doesn’t represent opinion of whole Finland. I wouldn’t mock all New Zealanders because of one NZ politicians opinions. Actually we have also several our own “Mr. Gerry Brownlees” redneck morons in Finnish Parliament (i.e. some True Finns Party members, local National Party).

    Seems that here in Finland people do not see the difference between Mr. Gerry Brownlee’s opinions and opininions of the ordinary New Zealanders. At the moment all the main TV stations, newspapers and radio stations are full of news and articles of Mr. Gerry Brownlee, most known New Zealander politician in Finland at the moment;)

    Finnish Foreign Minister Mr. Erkki Tuomioja has proposed that Finnish Minister of Transportation Mrs. Merja Kyllonen should invite Mr. Gerry Brownlee to visit Finland to learn some real facts of Finland. Yesterday NZ PM Mr. John Philip Key met President of Finland Mr. Sauli Niinisto in Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul, South-Korea to regret Mr. Brownlee’s opinions of Finland.

    According to Mr. Niinisto when he was a Minister of Finance in 1996-2003 and Finland was in recession, opposition parties made calling for Finland to follow in the footsteps of New Zealand. Mr. Niinisto proposed to Mr. John Philip Key that propably combining the best of New Zealand and best of Finland, we could get the best combination of world leading economy and society.

    BTW: Where is located world’s most northern rugby team?
    (OYUS Rugby Club, Oulu, Finland, 200km from Arctic Circle)

    • prism 6.1

      @ HDT We want better things from our politicians than this garbage. There are many NZs who listen to talk show hosts that talk rubbish but we want better from this well-paid jerk.

      And tell Finnish people not to invite him there – he’ll probably drop another clanger. Anyway he has a number of jobs he is not doing well, particularly assisting in the the advancement of Christchurch and providing affordable housing etc. He isn’t doing that. He is a spectacular failure and all the people in Ilam, Christchurch who voted for him must be morons or National Party cult clones.

      • prism 6.1.1

        @HPT
        Got the initials right now. I thought that I should explain the point about Christchurch city – we had a serious earthquake there in 2010 and another in Feb 2011 and another in June 2011 and certain areas of the city are wrecked and have to be pulled down. Brownlee was keen on this
        demolishment but he doesn’t see his duty to do provide much assistance with helping those with the least resources, and wants to leave housing provision to speculators. He’s a great guy. Not!

  7. Tom Gould 7

    Brownlee is simply a bully, drunk on power, a super sized Muldoon. At some stage, sooner rather than later, his own personal failings will be outed, by his own side, as the jockeying intensifies.

  8. ghostwhowalksnz 8

    Just wait till the Swedes and the Danes hear of this…..they will pile in onto the Finns as well.

    They could point out that the Finns have a ‘invented’ language.

    • grumpy 8.1

      Right on GHW. The Finns need to apologise for being such boring alcoholics and murderers.

      The Swedes have a saying….;

      Q “What has Finland got that Sweden hasn’t?”

      A “Good neighbours”

      I very much doubt that Brownlee’s comments have raised even a ripple in Finland.

    • Jackal 8.2

      The Helsingin Sanomat is published in Sweden and Denmark. It’s Scandinavia’s largest subscription newspaper. There is no doubt old balls-up Brownlee has damaged our international standing with his uneducated and defamatory remarks. Where’s that higher standard John Key was talking about again?

      • grumpy 8.2.1

        Bullshit. My Danish and Swedish friends will be delighted. NZ as an ally in the eternal slanging match among the Scandanavian countries.

        The only one they all gang up on is Germany.

        • Eestimaal 8.2.1.1

          It’s in the news in Estonia as well. Don’t think it’s only in Finland that Brownlee has made us look bad.

        • ghostwhowalksnz 8.2.1.2

          There was long a saying in Europe: The poor Poles, with Germany and Russia ( previously) as neighbours and only the French as friends.

        • proudPIIGS 8.2.1.3

          Let them taste their own medicine. Some Finns say much worse about southern europe. Racist ignorants!

  9. Colonial Viper 9

    “Gerry Brownlee…I’m pretty sure you are eating something…you are a significant person…even by body mass only…” LOLOLOLOLOL

  10. Colonial Viper 10

    I’d just like to say to all our Finnish friends…we think Brownlee is a right fracker too, and I’m personally looking forwards to visiting beautiful Finland on my next trip to the continent.

  11. Been Benuane 11

    Of course he’ll get away with this Scot-free.

    • mac1 11.1

      We do have a penchant for slagging other cultures, don’t we, with our language- Dutch courage, French leave, Scot-free- and many more. What does that say about us?

      • insider 11.1.1

        Let’s hope no-one Welshes on the deal…might end up being called an indian giver. Course it’s Greek gifts you have to worry about. Back to work; lucky I;m on Maori time.

    • Craig Glen Eden 11.2

      Lets not bring the Scottish into this BB. Brownlie might end up with a Glasgow Kiss.

  12. employed weekend murderer 12

    As a Finn, I think we should declare war to NZ! Wait a minute, where the f is NZ? I can’t even find Finland from this map. Damn my education. Nevertheless, I’m wait for Mr. Brownlee’s visit to Finland. I’m already sharpening my axe, and getting shitfaced from Koskenkorva vodka. A polar bear friend of mine at next door promised to join to this lynching campaign. In the meantime I beat the crap out of my wife, until Mr. Brownlee arrives.

    Or, that’s what gonna happen if Mr. Brownlee ever finds Finland. And if I didn’t have to go to work tomorrow, and design those darn wireless heartrate monitors. To be truthful, I’m PhD educated tech-geek, so I don’t actually have a girlfriend, let alone wife. Furthermore, polar bears do not actually roam in Finland. Anyway, don’t mess with us.

    PS. I have to admit that you have Peter Jackson, we have reindeers.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 12.1

      You can have Peter Jackson if you send some reindeer.

      After all Tolkein created his boring stories after researching Finnish folklore in the Kalevala. The language he made up” Elvish’ is based on Finnish.

      • Vicky32 12.1.1

        After all Tolkein created his boring stories

        I disagree! They are not boring at all… 
        (Jackson just filmed (and changed) them. The books are so much better.)

    • Jasper 12.2

      Nah f%$k you can have that other fat bastard Jackson too! Got a Welfare Benefit for $85,000,000 & casualised the film industry. Bought himself a $50,000,000 plane with some of the money and nearly choked to death in it while eating something! Haha! Then claims back more than $150,000,000 in GST refunds over the passed 3 years! Another pig the world can have!

      • Enough is Enough 12.2.1

        Charming comment

        Take it to the sewer

      • prism 12.2.2

        @Jasper I think you sound like a badly fed pig. Maybe if you hang around and look as cute as a kune kune Jackson will eventually throw something your way. He is a doer and achiever and you are a whining, mindless wank.r with ideas above your sty. How many jobs have you created? What investment have you made in the country (outside buying alcohol or video games where you can indulge your fantasies). Have you done any of those short films? Good luck with doing something positive.

    • Te Reo Putake 12.3

      And you have this guy, too. Of course Gerry has scored a lot more own goals than Jari Litmanen …

    • rosy 12.4

      You don’t need Peter Jackson – you have Lordi! :-D

  13. Sanctuary 13

    The Finns feel bad? Spare a thought for us New Zealanders, we’ve been trying to escape his gravitational pull for years.

  14. js 14

    Don’t forget the Moomins.

  15. Pete 15

    Brownlee has made a non-apology apology. An “I’m sorry if you took offence” rather than an “I’m sorry I said it as it was wrong to say”.

  16. Jve 16

    Greetings from finland. This whole issue is the most hilarious piece of ‘news’ imaginable.
    it’s clear to many(here) that Finland was used as a chip on betting round of political poker.
    This time the bluff was called. The tabloid press is the winner of this round.

    Seriously, why not declare a war, and sort it out like men do? The finnish military budget
    has been under some cuts lately, so we have limited resources to be proactive. And our
    last offensive to NZ did not turn out so well. Peter Jackson covered this battle in his
    documentary, Bad Taste(1987). The Finnish soldiers were inaccurately portrayed as eaters of
    bright green slime. Pea Soup (hernekeitto, easy-peasy-pudding,Pie floater)is really darkish
    greyish greenish and not bright at all. In Finland at least.

    • prism 16.1

      Jve
      Veeery interesting. If we went to war it would boost our economic level. We are always worrying about that and it has been noted that conventional economics count war as useful activity but not unpaid work. So war could be regarded as a good idea by the dead hand of economists.

      But we could have a symbolic battle of course. Is it Finnish men who build themselves up and then run for a mile with a woman over his shoulder? We could start an inter-country series of games to see who is the best. Of course carrying a woman would now not be acceptable, but we have deer and wild pigs that I believe are really heavy. Do you think there is the germ of an idea here?

  17. Risto A 17

    The whole thing is really getting out of proportion. This Brownlee person only indicated true the universal fact that never believe a politician.

    The Enbuske show was stupid too, how do these low IQ persons get into politics and TV shows, I just wonder…

    Greetings from .fi

    • Jasper 17.1

      Haha! Great use of terminology, …”getting out of proportion”.. in reference to Fat Boy Brown Lee! If there’s a plane that can get him to Finland or a ship…. and the immigration officials allow him to enter Finland. NO BAGS! We don’t want the fat f%$ker back! He’s all yours Finland! We’ll throw in Paula Benefit too his fat ass gurlfriend!

  18. prism 18

    Why would Brownlee resign? He’s Deputy Leader of the House and the perfect exemplar of the thrusting, demanding finance and commerce oriented types running the National Party. The people who vote for National are not interested in the finer details of ethics and diplomacy, just in doing what they want, getting what they want and saying what they want. They personally want their education to serve their limited ideas shaped to advance their own materialistic desires and they don’t waste time informing themselves of anything else except to look good on a CV or to get a scholarship at Harvard etc.

    So one of our top politicians disses Finland who are in many ways similar to us and have overcome a more variable climate that makes life harder than is the case in most of NZ. Finland has succeeded and stayed at the top of world rankings. We are sinking into the morass of vicious business practices that early USA used to extract the most out of their people for the least money.

    National doesn’t want to take education to a higher level so we all have the opportunity to being clever problem solvers in the world, with a philosophical view that respects all other humans and their potential. So the budget cutters come down on night school that feeds the needs of those having to retrain themselves in the constantly changing world that past governments have made more difficult by dropping tariffs so we can be sure to keep exporting dairy. Doesn’t matter that they have wiped out lots of NZ jobs. They take no responsibility for that or for providing opportunities for post-school education.

    Why is higher education not valued in NZ. Tom Lehrer sang about watching bullfighting – 800lbs of angry pot roast – well that’s often the spectacle to be seen in our parliamentary exchanges. Bovine and/or slick men and women choose their higher education with as little as possible of the humanities in the mix. An MBA with post graduate diploma in change theory will get a high salary.

    Gordon McLauchlan in The Passionless People doesn’t fudge the issue. p2

    ‘Quality of life’ was an optimistic, resonant phrase at first, one which implied some broad agreement about a goal, what the good life really is. But then a couple of election campaigns stripped it bare and revealed that we New Zealanders have no moral or social philosophy, no dream of the future, beyond the orthodox good health of that pagan god, The Economy.

  19. tsmithfield 19

    If you’re easily offended by humour about the Finnish, then you really should avoid this site. And definitely avoidthis one too

    It looks like plenty of people are already taking the piss out of the Finnish. So why shouldn’t we as well? :smile:

    • prism 19.1

      ts
      We don’t need to pick on the Finnish. We’ve got your good self to keep us amused.

      • tsmithfield 19.1.1

        Heh. I didn’t realise that comment had actually been posted. You’d better not look at the full version of it below then.

    • Pascal's bookie 19.2

      smitty, if the new standard for what we can expect from our politicians is “is there anything like it on the internet”; then umm, fuck.

    • felix 19.3

      “Taking the piss”?

      “Jokes”?

      He called them a nation of starving uneducated sexist murderers you twat.

      Also, what P’s b said.

  20. tsmithfield 20

    If you’re easily offended by humour about the Finnish, then you really should avoid this site. And definitely avoid this one too

    Here is a particularly disgusting joke that demonstrates how terrible and prejudiced attitudes are towards the poor Finnish people:

    Pekka and Jukka are sitting by a lake after drinking heavily. Suddenly, out of the lake pops an elf who immediately grants the lucky Finns three wishes.

    After some pondering Pekka gets excited: “I would like the water in the lake to turn to vodka.”

    Hey presto! The water in the lake turns to vodka! Jukka and Pekka can’t hide their excitement, but the elf reminds them that they have two wishes left.

    Jukka says: “Maybe something for the eye. I want beautiful girls all around the lake.”

    And the elf immeditely makes his wish come true.

    Having had their two dearest wishes granted, Jukka and Pekka are at a lost as to what to ask for their last wish.

    Suddenly, Pekka has an idea: “I’ve got it! I’ve got the third wish!” Holding his thumb and index finger two inches apart, he adds: “Could we have a little more vodka, please?”

    • Eestimaal 20.1

      Poor attempt at distraction. It’s not about whether it is possible to make jokes about Finns.

      a) Brownlee wasn’t telling jokes. He said “It’s unbelievable isn’t it. That you’d … make a speech saying I want New Zealand to be like Finland which has worse unemployment than us, can hardly feed the people who live there, has a terrible homicide rate, hardly educates their people and has no respect for women”. There’s no joke in there.

      b) Brownlee is a senior representative of the NZ government. In fact he is currently Acting PM. His standard of behaviour has to reflect the fact he is a face of NZ.

      • Pete George 20.1.1

        I think Brownlee took it too far in his speech, didn’t sound much like joking to me – and neither do the consequent jangle of jibes floating around.

        I wish he was big enough to make a decent apology, but it doesn’t look like it, he must be on a common decency diet. Even if he thought he weas joking some of it didn’t look good so should he should acknowledge that offence could be taken from it.

  21. vto 21

    What this episode does of course is highlight the silliness of relying on politicians to act as leaders.

    Brownlee is not one of our leaders. He is a normal person with a thick skin, a big mouth, and a position which is not suited to him.

  22. hoom 22

    A stinging rebuke by Tuomas Enbuske & well deserved.

    So sick of these ignorant bigoted clowns :-/

  23. Kevin 23

    It doesn’t matter whether Brownlee apologises or not, the damage has been done. New Zealand’s reputation has been tarnished by Brownlee’s big mouth, now all visitors from the Baltic region will be looking sideways at New Zealand.
    In addition to the above Brownlee’s misfired attempt at satire was riddled with lie’s, big fat lie’s that will stick to him for the rest of his political career.

    • prism 23.1

      Probably not Kevin. Most countries are afflicted with politicians who have inflated ideas about their abilities and who manage to con enough voters to get in.

  24. tsmithfield 24

    I wouldn’t be too worried about negative publicity.

    There are probably lots of people in Finland who have never heard about NZ before who know about us now. As the saying goes, any publicity is good publicity. We might get an increase of tourism from Finnish people who want to discover if we really do shag sheep. :smile:

    Sorry, I just can’t find myself being too serious about this topic. I know I probably should be.

    • felix 24.1

      Yeah, you probably should.

      In fact all you righties ought to be very upset about it, if you ever want to post comments about xenophobia again.

      But hey, if you want to argue that it’s more offensive to say you think our assets should be owned by people who live here than to call another nation uneducated starving sexist murderers (and then go all LOLz about it smitty), go right ahead.

      • tsmithfield 24.1.1

        C’mon Felix.

        Don’t you realize this is a brilliant new marketing strategy for the country. I call it “offend then befriend”.

        1. Pick some random country that knows nothing about us.
        2. Get some government minister to say some outrageously offensive things about them that their news media picks up on and creates a great fuss in their country, and upsets their politicians.
        3. Our PM contacts them and says very sorry. The public apology also gets lots of media time over there.
        4. We make diplomatic contact with them and say, “now we’re friends how about we talk about trade”, and we embark on a media campaign in that country to promote NZ as a tourist destination.

        • McFlock 24.1.1.1

          how did that work with India and paul henry’s comments? Did we get a massive influx of outraged but heavily-spending tourists?

          • Colonial Viper 24.1.1.1.1

            I don’t think ts gets how this “relationship building” lark between people goes.

            • McFlock 24.1.1.1.1.1

              I dunno – I have a vision of him at business association functions:
                
              “ooo – I don’t know you. You look like a fucking inbred moron who fucks sheep.

              Now that we have a relationship, would you like to do business with me?” 
                    
                 
              speaking of business associations, the dude formerly of the EMA (Alisdair Thompson?) would also disagree that any publicity is good publicity.

          • tsmithfield 24.1.1.1.2

            “how did that work with India and paul henry’s comments? Did we get a massive influx of outraged but heavily-spending tourists?”

            That wasn’t according to my prescribed plan though. In that instance Paul Henry wasn’t a high level government minister. For this plan to work there needs to be a high level of shock value followed by a high level of contrition value. We don’t want them pissed off with us for too long.

            • McFlock 24.1.1.1.2.1

              Oh, you expect contrition from the nats?
              We’re fucked. 

              • tsmithfield

                “I dunno – I have a vision of him at business association functions:

                “ooo – I don’t know you. You look like a fucking inbred moron who fucks sheep.

                Now that we have a relationship, would you like to do business with me?””

                Nah. Thats not how it works. Its similar to the “good cop, bad cop routine”.

                If I was to make this work, I would have a business colleague say some really offensive things about a potential customer we no relationship with and knows little about us. Then I would apologise profusely, tell them my collegue was under huge stress at the moment, and offer to take them out for a meal to mend the fences.

                • McFlock

                  better yet, pretend he’s a complete stranger and “come to the rescue”.
                     
                       
                   Of course, normal people tend to simply rely on not being so weird that they’d need to employ such distractions from their personalities.

                • felix

                  1. Say stupid ignorant offensive things
                  2. ???
                  3. Profit

                  Still not seeing any righties wanting to distance themselves from Gerry’s stupid ignorant xenophobic remarks.

                  Almost as if all that stuff about China was a great big lie that none of you believed.

        • Puddleglum 24.1.1.2

          tsmithfield, would it be equally hilarious if a Labour or Green or Mana MP had said that the US is an uneducated, murderous, sexist, poverty stricken country?

          Or, would it be condemned as a vehemently anti-american ‘attack’? 

          • tsmithfield 24.1.1.2.1

            “tsmithfield, would it be equally hilarious if a Labour or Green or Mana MP had said that the US is an uneducated, murderous, sexist, poverty stricken country?”

            Not at all. Because in many respects that would be telling the truth.

    • McFlock 24.2

      “Any publicity is good publicity”.
         
      Paul Gadd would disagree. 
         
      More seriously, that comment always pisses me off. It’s generally said by arseholes who have been discovered as arseholes, but who are too big an arsehole to realise that being an arsehole is a bad thing, even if you do happen to make money as a result of being outed as an arsehole.
            
      I think, on the balance of things, that less people will visit from Finland because of Brownlee’s comments than visited from the US because of our dear dickhead’s performance on Letterman. So fuck all, then.
           
       

  25. The Finnish embassy says the matter is now at an end

    Juha Parikka, the deputy head of mission, told Radio New Zealand on Tuesday afternoon that the matter is now at an end.

    “Prime Minister Key has presented his regrets to the Finnish president, whom he met yesterday in Seoul at the nuclear conference. He said that he’s sorry for the comments.”

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/101882/finland-accepts-apology-over-nz-minister

    A pity Brownlee didn’t present his regrets a bit better.

    • employed weekend murderer 25.1

      Not enough!

      I demand 2 sheeps as an exchange for 1 reindeer. And Peter Jackson as promised earlier.

    • tsmithfield 25.2

      So, we must be approaching the Finnish line on this thread then. :smile:

  26. Jasper 26

    Ae!

  27. ghostwhowalksnz 27

    We have run out of marmite but we havent seen much of this ‘Finishing sauce’ for a while

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-SeHUD6SRvk

    Perhaps the Finns could send us a new supply

  28. hybrid 28

    Gerry Brownlee, the laziest school teacher I ever had,he would give above average marks to students who deserved far less to make his own performance look good,and now he demonstrates to the world the Kiwi island bunker mentality..

    • mac1 28.1

      I call him Gerrymander, the Finnagler.

    • Mark 28.2

      I understand that Brownlee managed to avoid stuffing tennis balls into his students’ mouths

      • McFlock 28.2.1

        Yeah, the unimaginative prick probably just beat them with sticks like teachers were allowed to do at that time. 
             
        Besides, methinks he’s been overcompensating for years by putting his feet in his own mouth. 

  29. KeepOurAssetsDon'tSell. 29

    Oberleutenant Brownlee is an arrogant IGNORAMUS!

    Humour aside what does worry me is obviously we have no intelligent intellectual, humanistic leadership with national. Shonkey is on autopilot with his selfserving ideology, blind to the wreckage it has caused here and round the World, a school student could understand that selling our assets is crazy. Herr Brownlee shows his deprivation of intelligence, humanity and sense in his comment.
    So these bigoted ideological blockheads are running the show,not least Shonkey:Poor New Zealand.

    One of Finland’s greatest achievements is the music of the composer Sibelius, who was a European Romantic.

    I like women their hair colour doesn’t matter but Finland has lots of dishy blonds- a romantic hair colour of the North compared with the romantic hair colour Black in Spain.

  30. What is it about nokia.. ….i got sheeep and loud mouth

  31. JT 31

    Send Gerry to Finland.
    He is a rare commodity.
    We’ll ship him back by xmas.

    Rare exports Inc
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kCaC-uaMsvg

    • lprent 31.1

      Why would we want him back?

      I’m sure that if he was out of the way, that the work on rebuilding Christchurch would proceed faster and with a lot less friction. Perhaps the Russians would like him. He’d be a natural at their style of political managment.

  32. Jve 32

    Prism,
    The germ is brewing and getting more potent..

    “Of course carrying a woman would now not be acceptable, but we have deer and wild pigs that I believe are really heavy. Do you think there is the germ of an idea here?”

    Of course not women. How about carrying politicians ?? We pick one of yours for you to carry(choose your weapons:), and vice versa . You could pick Timo Soini, one of our heavy-weight statesmans for us to bear. This could very well lead for mutual benefit in …

    Wait a minute, aren’t we allready doing that ??

    • prism 32.1

      @Jve Absolutely brilliant idea. But there might not be equality of weight – muscle weighs heavier than fat. So if your politicians are big and in good shape and aren’t ‘fatheads’ such as pollies like Brownlee, it could be a case of flabby deadweight ‘Billy Buster’ Brownlee against a possibly Nordic god from Finland. I think after consideration we should award you the contest Trophy Antlers and skulk back to our corners.

      And it’s great to chat to you in English. We have rarely learned other languages as being connected to Britain was all we cared about (though my dead pilot father ended up buried in France – tristresse for toujours for him.) One day we may get a smart educational system that includes all languages, but at present our government is trying to make a sow’s ear out of a silk purse, if you understand the reversal of that old saying.

      So – Good evening (here) Hyvää iltaa
      Useful link for NZs to learn more about Finnish. http://www.squidoo.com/how-do-I-say-it-in-finnish

      • Vicky32 32.1.1

        We have rarely learned other languages as being connected to Britain was all we cared about (though my dead pilot father ended up buried in France – tristresse for toujours for him.) One day we may get a smart educational system that includes all languages,

        Seriously Prism, speak for yourself! My father actually came from England and all of us were bullied, seriously, as “Poms”.. so in my experience, you’re talking utter nonsense.
        Speak for yourself about language as well… At school in the 1960s, I had the choice of French, German  and Latin.
        My older son had the option of Maori and Japanese, and my younger one, Japanese, French and Russian…

        • rosy 32.1.1.1

          My older son had the option of Maori and Japanese, and my younger one, Japanese, French and Russian…
          I took Japanese for 3 years… can’t remember a word of it, but it’s useful while in Austria as an excuse for why I don’t speak German ;-)

          • Vicky32 32.1.1.1.1

            I took Japanese for 3 years…

            Leon took all the options – even though he’s a science nerd, cause that’s the kind of person he is. (Asbergers, we think). But the one he enjoyed most was Japanese, although his French is pretty good – and now he’s obsessed with anime… :D
            (You probably remember more than you think you do!)

  33. diver 33

    Almost everybody in Finland knows where New Zealand is located. This is because of NZ Rally and kiwi fruits. We Finns are very keen supporters of rallysport and have been that for decades. And we definitely had nothing against you until now. And we will begin to like you after a couple of weeks when the dust has settled.

    Any volunteers over there to hit him on the nose? :-)

    • lprent 33.1

      We’re not much into physical violence – it is unlawful.

      But this site’s authors have long regarded Brownlee with a contempt, disdain, and as a blight on the political landscape. Their writing on him is a pointed reflection on why. There have been posts on his personal shortcomings and inadequete performance ever since the site started in 2007.

      • Pete George 33.1.1

        I guess you are in a position to be able to speak on behalf of “this site’s authors”.

        As a non-site author I’d like to point out to diver that Brownlee’s comments were not directed at Finland at all, they were an overbaked ham-fisted attempt to make a point in our Parliament, aimed at the main opposition party who has championed some things Finnish but is finding that not everything lines up with it’s own ideological position.

        • lprent 33.1.1.1

          I looked it up the other day. There have been posts that are uncomplimentary about Brownlee from at least 15 authors on a variety of topics. This is merely the most recent screwup.

        • prism 33.1.1.2

          @PG What a wet paper towel you are. (Made in NZ.)

  34. Dr Phil 34

    I wonder if all EU media got this or just Finland. I would imagine trade is going to suffer, and NZ’s image will be tarnished as being a haven for morons like Brownlee. There have been a few hard lessons around lately. oowch Gerry, the shit has hit the fan because you were a dickhead

  35. JT 35

    “Off-the-cuff comments by politicians can have far-reaching impact with implications for exporters, Jackson Estate founder John Stitchbury said yesterday.
    Mr Stitchbury confirmed that Finland was Jackson Estate’s third-largest market and that customers had contacted the winery about acting prime minister Gerry Brownlee’s comments about the country.
    No-one had said they would stop selling Jacksons Estate wine, he said, but it was reported yesterday that a Finnish bar has removed New Zealand beers from its shelves because of the comments.”

    “But good news could also travel – his nephew, living in Christchurch and having difficulty finding work, wrote a blog, which was picked up by Nokia in Finland.
    The company flew him to Helsinki and he was now working there on excellent wages.”
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/marlborough-express/news/6664537/Finns-dump-Kiwi-beers-is-wine-next

    I guess this John Stitchbury is not pleased..
    I drink that Jackson Estate wine too. For some reason it is big here in Finland.

    But I wouldn’t worry too much.
    This was one day news here and I bet it was not news anywhere else in the world.
    And while the media makes a big deal out of it, I doubt people really do.
    It’s was a common joke in coffee tables for one day.
    Other news tomorrow.

    The thing that makes it weird for us is that Gerry was acting PM.
    Here that could never happen.
    Hey, as a PM let’s just insult the Swedes, Estonians and the Russians a bit.

    They talk trash in parliament here too, but customs here are that acting ministers do not participate in the banter (being state reprisentatives). That made the finns propably first think that “hey, is this some kind of a formal statement of NZ.

    • Dr Phil 35.1

      I’m sure Gerry is a high functioning Autistic, he has some physical genetic tell tales, his faux pau’s are infamous, and his empathy is way off.

      Big sorry to you guys in Scandinavia. I really love your politics. When my family came to NZ from the Netherlands in 1964, our ministers would often travel to Sweden too learn light socialist policy. Back then, NZ was number two in the world for standard of living, after Sweden, and our currency was an equivalent of $1NZ=$2US

      If we had continued to follow Scandinavian example, my country would have been much better off

  36. Will 36

    Nice try, but “The lead story on Helsingin Sanomat, Finland’s largest newspaper is about the ‘violent comments’ of Gerry Brownlee” just doesn’t wash. That link is to a search on Brownlee and merely turns up all articles with his name in it that were on the online site. Our big headlines are about defence cuts, Nokia closures, corporate greed (the options go-round), municipal reform, and the ice hockey playoffs.

    This is small beer, a silly-season episode that will be forgotten by Easter, and sooner if one of our own MPs spontaneously combusts – and we have a hatful of suitable candidates who could give your Big Gerry a good run for his money.

    Helsingin Sanomat has run the dissing story pretty tongue-in-cheek, and it’s only the desperate tabloids who are working it to death – most people couldn’t give a shit, and realise it’s all NZ domestic politics anyway. We got a lot more narked at the blanket coverage after our last Parliamentary elections, when all of a sudden the little goody-goody of the European Union was seen to have “gone sceptic” and threatened to pull the plug on the Greeks and the Portuguese. Suddenly being told (by nearly everyone) that you are a nation of rabid nationalist, populist immigrant-bashers because 19% voted for a protest party (and dohhhh, why was that, because they were PROTESTING against the mainstream Centre-Left parties, innit – most would run a mile in bare feet before they saw our True Finns actually in government) is much more likely to get one’s dander up than having someone a zillion miles away take a few liberties with statistics. The same goes for being told you are all wing-nut, gun-crazed spree-shooters when some adolescent with shit for brains and an overenthusiastic leaning for the Net kills his classmates. Now THAT pissed us off.

    Big Gerry’s crass, yes, and he seems like a boor, but I hardly think he’s a weapon of much more than mild distraction up here. Don’t worry about us, or about unsold joints of NZ lamb in Finnish supermarkets. It ain’t going to happen.

    Oh, and if you want to see a Finnish take on the subject, try this one below. Reading between the lines, hey, maybe BGB had a point – all he needed was a touch of intelligence in the way he expressed it.

    http://www.hs.fi/english/article/1329103704479

    • JT 36.1

      Problems are global nowadays.
      There is trouble in the US, Sweden, Finland, Russia and New Zealand.
      We’ve been doing quite well compared to rest of Europe here, Sweden even better.

      Everybody tries to draw conclusions about this and further some agenda.
      It was not taken seriously (well except by the 16 year old people commenting youtube videos who wait for the upcoming ice-hockey championships here ;) )

      The one silly thing is that New Zealand has a great image here.
      Clean, beautiful nature, great produce, somehow we had the feeling that the people are somewhat same as the finns too (a bit introverted) etc…
      Not that you guys are often in the news here.

      So this was a silly thing.
      Forgotten by next week.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rolrwcI0tZw

      All the best.

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    1 week ago
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    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • World water day: eight rivers in one day
    Our photo journey started by the Waioweka (also known as Waioeka) River which flows from Te Urewera to Opotiki, and is surrounded by beautiful forest. The water looked great! Kopeopeo Canal It contrasted greatly with the Kopeopeo Canal near Whakatane,… ...
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    1 week ago
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  • Big change starts small
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    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
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    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    2 weeks ago
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    2 weeks ago
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    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
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    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
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    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    3 weeks ago

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