Breaking: Libertarian opposes free speech

Written By: - Date published: 3:44 pm, November 27th, 2017 - 50 comments
Categories: articles, don brash, equality, Maori Issues, radio - Tags: , , , , ,

Don Brash has emerged from his crypt once again to tackle the greatest problem facing New Zealand today (in his strange little world) – ‘Maori privilege’.

Apparently he’s “utterly sick” of the likes of Guyon Espiner speaking Te Reo on air because only “one listener (to that programme) in hundreds has any knowledge of what he is talking about.”

Is it just me or is his logic getting even more confused in his old age than it used to be?

I thought right wingers loved free speech?!?

Shouldn’t they apply the same arguments to Morning Report that they tell us to apply to Mike Hosking – if you don’t like it, change the station cupcakes. Or is it snowflakes? Whatever us “PC gone mad” “SJW” types are supposed to be…

I tell you what though, one of the truly great things about the amazing job Guyon Espiner and others are doing educating all of us in the native language of our country, aside from winding Brash up, is it’s been widely supported by the general public from what I’ve seen.

I was almost too scared to read the Facebook comments on that Newshub piece, but when I parted my fingers from my eyes I was pleasantly surprised that they seemed to be about 50-1 in favour of more Te Reo on air, not less.

So get a life Don. Or should I say – hei aha tāu Don!

50 comments on “Breaking: Libertarian opposes free speech”

  1. mickysavage 1

    Haha welcome Enzo.

    And to Don Brash if he reads this can I say Meri Kirihimete me ngā mihi o te tau hou ki a koutou katoa!

    • weka 1.1

      Lol, micky.

      Nau mai Enzo, great to see you have a login.

    • mac1 1.2

      And dear Dr Brash says that only one in hundreds could understand what Guyon Espiner was saying. What I’ve heard are nothing more than simple sentences of introduction.

      Those I understood. At High School here 10% of boys did Māori to some level. This is not a prime zone for cultural renaissance and the local kura kaupapa is struggling to find a kaiako Māori, but the local paper featured a headline in te reo, “Kei te kimi kaiako mātou”.

      Good on that paper. And for shame on Dr Brash.

      • weka 1.2.1

        +1 The issue for Brash isn’t that so few understand te reo, it’s that he doesn’t want them to. Best way for the language to increase is to use it as much as possible, including in public spaces like te Reo Irirangi o Aotearoa.

        • mac1 1.2.1.1

          And I suspect buried beneath the rage is that hatred of foreigners who dare speak in a language that the hearer might not understand. (Don’t they understand that the best people only speak English? That they might be talking, or laughing, about me behind my linguistic back? That it’s just rude not to speak English in my hearing, dash it!)

          Google “Dr Brash and Maori” and the Internet is full of his fulminations.

          • D'Esterre 1.2.1.1.1

            Mac1: “Google “Dr Brash and Maori” and the Internet is full of his fulminations.”
            In 2004, after Brash gave That Speech to the Orewa Rotary Club, I sent him a long e-mail, pointing out the multiple errors in what he’d said. I’d add that I was polite. I got a very polite response. He’s entitled to a point of view, and to express it. In the end, the poll bump the Natz got as a consequence wasn’t enough to get them into government at the 2005 election.
            However, his speech triggered many debates, including, for us, with a friend who was a Nat apparatchik. I was surprised at how little that person knew about NZ history. Including – in the context of the Natz wanting to abolish them – when the Maori seats were established and why. I wonder how many of the commenters here know that?

        • Carolyn_Nth 1.2.1.2

          Well, maybe all Kiwis need a crash immersion course in NZ’s two official languages: Te Reo and Sign Language.

          Stop using English in all NZ mainstream media, until most everyone has some fluency in Te Reo and sign language.

          English is, after all only NZ’s de facto language and doesn’t, apparently, have official status under law.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 1.2.1.2.1

            All the laws are published in English, Parliamentary business is almost all conducted in English, court business is almost all conducted in English, and it has no official status?

            Sounds like ‘official status’ is the second prize.

          • D'Esterre 1.2.1.2.2

            Carolyn_Nth: “Stop using English in all NZ mainstream media, until most everyone has some fluency in Te Reo and sign language.”
            English is the language of public discourse here. People can’t be forced to speak other languages: that would be a serious abrogation of our civil rights and freedoms. And daily life would grind to a halt….

    • mac1 1.3

      Hō! Hō! Hō!

  2. One Anonymous Bloke 3

    Speaking of such things, someone could ask the Institute of Directors if they really think insulting people with a Clayton’s apology is the best course of action right now.

  3. AB 4

    Don is an example of what used to be a very common (even the dominant) strain of thought. He’s an assimilationist racist.
    At the personal level he would not treat a Maori person badly and would always favour Maori having equal legal rights. So he is not a crude, discriminationist racist at the personal level.
    He just thinks Maori culture is inferior, not worthy of attention and the language not worth saving, and especially not if saving it requires any special effort. And that’s because he thinks 21st century western European neoliberal capitalism is the pinnacle of human endeavour, the last word on everything, a self-evident truth. Everything else is an historical footnote of interest only to a few scholars.
    His attitude is best described as ‘cultural ethnic cleansing’ – the aim is not to destroy Maori, but to destroy ‘Maoriness’.

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 4.1

      I reckon this is pretty accurate.

      Doesn’t make Dr Don any better.

    • D'Esterre 4.2

      AB: “He’s an assimilationist racist.”
      No he’s not. He’s an old conservative. Don’t sling about the racism epithet: it’s inaccurate and just serves to squelch debate.

  4. Tautoko Mangō Mata 5

    Dr Brash has once again displayed his arrogance and his ignorance. Why doesn’t he avail himself of the opportunity to attend a class in Te Reo, and while he’s at it he can encourage Wililam Gallagher to. do the same. Learning something new will help stave off dementia and help open closed minds!

  5. adam 6

    The libertarians are just waking up to the fact the authoritarian right have left them behind.

    The libertarian is now rushing to be racist, just to stay relevant.

  6. My objection to Espiner’s speaking Maori is that he gabbles. It is almost unintelligible. Genuine speakers of Te Reo at least give it a bit of gravitas.

    • In Vino 7.1

      Inclined to agree, Ann. I was also thoroughly disillusioned in Espiner in early days when he started spouting at top speed what were then new phrases for most of us, making me wonder if he was showing off… only to hear him say later in the programme ‘Tea Tai Toke-er-row’ (as in ‘now’).
      I have often wondered if he has realised what he did, and would now pronounce
      ‘Te Tai Tokerau’ at least a little bit more correctly. Haven’t been (un)lucky enough to hear him say it since.
      But if he did pronounce it more correctly, Don Brash would probably complain that he couldn’t understand.

      • enzo 7.1.1

        He’s doing pretty well for a non-native speaker. I know I couldn’t do any better, and I love the fact that I’m picking up new words from it. As someone who has struggled to learn a language of my ancestry – Italian – I know how hard it is and also how brave he must be to use what he’s learned live on air. So what if he doesn’t always get it perfect?

        • Jilly Bee 7.1.1.1

          Absolutely enzo, I have to admit since I have been in the happy state of retirement for the past few years and no longer need to wake up at sparrow fart, I have no great desire to tune into Morning Report live. I do make sure to catch up online though and enjoy the te reo interactions and work hard to work out what is being said – I know some of the phrases and intend to work on learning more having had a tutorial tape (from RNZ) for a few years in my archives and making the excuse of too much to do! I have just watched Kanoa Lloyd’s plea on ‘The Project’ to embrace our indigenous language and I yelled back at the screen ‘you rock Kanoa’. She is a national gem – totally.

      • weka 7.1.2

        Fluent speakers speak fast, even in learning media, so I assume the point is to develop an ‘ear’ for how it should sound. I want people to slow down too, but maybe that’s going to teach me bad habits.

        I agree with enzo, it’s good to encourage people rather than knock them when they are learning. Pākehā are notorious for being afraid to speak te reo for fear of making mistakes, but making mistakes is part of the process.

        • In Vino 7.1.2.1

          OK, maybe I am harsh, but I don’t like shallow pretence. If Espiner was as good as he tried to sound by rattling off fast phrases at the start of the programme, he would have kept that standard up during the programme.
          Becoming fluent in a second language is not an easy thing. I studied hard to become OK in French and German, and spent time in each country. I have since learnt a little Spanish, and enough Maori to know when I am hearing disgusting Pakeha distortions. I feel that Espiner pretended to be better than he was.
          I agree that when people are learning a language, you do not nitpick and undermine them.
          But on this occasion Espiner tried to sound like a seasoned speaker, then gave it away. He set himself up.
          We need to be humble in learning as well as in teaching. Too few New Zealanders have any idea of what it takes to become competent in a second or 3rd language. I don’t like obvious fakes, and Espiner seemed that to me.. Just learning some pat phrases to sound good.
          There can be charlatans and fakes in language too, you know? But if I had heard him say Te Tai Tokerau correctly since, I would have forgiven all and not written this. Just haven’t heard him.

          • Enzo 7.1.2.1.1

            Were you listening when Mihingarangi Forbes tested him on air a few weeks ago? He got almost all the answers right.

          • weka 7.1.2.1.2

            RNZ in general, and Espiner personally, seem genuinely committed to increasing te reo. I think what they are doing is fantastic.

            • In Vino 7.1.2.1.2.1

              Cool – in that case I withdraw all accusations of pretence, and give Espiner credit for genuinely trying to improve our knowledge of Te Reo.

            • Gareth 7.1.2.1.2.2

              Not sure if you’ve seen this relevant piece by his wife?

              https://www.newsroom.co.nz/2017/11/26/63595/emma-espiner-the-threat-of-te-reo

              • greywarshark

                Emma Espiner feels very encouraged about Te Reo and Don Brash and his ilk are just spectral ghosts of the ignorant past popping up at Halloween, soon to fade away.

                but I believe we can view these people (and they’re always the same people) as the rearguard of progress. As society shifts, they will continue to yap at our heels and protest, but the trend for Aotearoa is against bland mono-culturalism and fearful mono-lingualism. A decade ago it was Māori Television. Today, it’s using Te Reo on Morning Report and Breakfast TV and putting macrons in newspapers. In ten years time these things will be completely normal and there will be another battle, which the rearguard will again resist and lose.

            • D'Esterre 7.1.2.1.2.3

              Weka: “I think what they are doing is fantastic.”
              I do not. I’m becoming increasingly irritated by the way in which RNZ presenters are using te reo. I know they mean well, but it’s just tokenism: it won’t do anything to save the language.
              Many years ago, I learned te reo: long before it was fashionable for pakeha to do so. Before we called it te reo, even. And at a time when there were still native speakers.
              In those days, RNZ broadcast some programming which was presented entirely in te reo: I think that was in the days of Henare te Ua. I used to listen to it. That is what RNZ should be doing once again, not this nonsense of making presenters use (and in some cases, mangle!) words of greeting or farewell. It’s painfully obvious that many are uncomfortable with it, and they shouldn’t be forced into it.
              Back then, those Maori language programmes didn’t go to air in prime time, but on Saturday or Sunday afternoons, if I remember rightly. Let’s have them back.
              The sad fact is, that the language is in trouble, and it’s for the same reason that other indigenous languages struggle: the paucity of native speakers. All the rest of us learning it as a second language won’t save it, unfortunately. Without native speakers,it’ll eventually become like Latin used to be: a dead language. And that’s a stop on the road to extinction.
              I don’t know how we as a country can foster native speakers; the Irish have tried, but I understand numbers are dropping away there, too. The Scots have lost the battle, I believe; only second language speakers there now, though there were native speakers of Gaelic as recently as the 1970s or thereabouts.
              It is a job for Maori, however, it being their language. Bloody hard, but essential to te reo’s survival.

              • weka

                As I understand it, it goes like this. Native speakers are those that learn as a child and grow up with it being used normally and it is their first language. That can be people of any ethnicity.

                For children to learn as they grow and have it in use at home, you need adults who also speak at home. It’s not enough on its own for instance to send kids to koanga, the reo needs to be spoken at home too. In order to have adults speaking at home you have to normalise the language in as many places as possible.

                Ghetto-ising te reo to the weekends fails that. We need it to be normal to say hello, ask for a cup of tea, buy petrol, tweet etc in te reo. When that happens, there will be more people speaking which will enable more people to speak and so on. The goal here is to make the language accessible to a wide range of people.

                • D'Esterre

                  Weka: “That can be people of any ethnicity.”
                  That’s true. It’s how you and I, along with many others, came to be native speakers of English, even if our linguistic background wasn’t English. Most Maori nowadays are also native speakers of English. Which of course is the problem with regard to language preservation: people can’t be forced to speak te reo, or to bring their kids up as native speakers. Yet if te reo preservation and promotion should concern anyone, it is Maori. It’s their heritage, after all.
                  “It’s not enough on its own for instance to send kids to koanga, the reo needs to be spoken at home too.”
                  I couldn’t agree more. Before about 1980, there were native speakers. The kohanga movement began around 1980, and the years since have been marked by the gradual erosion of the numbers of native speakers. Counterintuitive, but indisputable.
                  If the language is to survive, it’s critical that it’s spoken in the home. Kohanga – formal school generally – can’t do that job.
                  When I was very young, I went to school with European migrant children who were native speakers of their respective languages. None of those languages was spoken in the shops or petrol stations of NZ, yet those children remained fluent in their native languages.
                  “Ghetto-ising te reo to the weekends fails that. We need it to be normal to say hello, ask for a cup of tea, buy petrol, tweet etc in te reo.”
                  I wouldn’t be averse to Maori prime time programmes on RNZ. But good luck with that! Radio isn’t TV: no subtitles. I can’t see the monolingual majority being happy with it. Given that, I’d be ok with programming out of prime time. It’d be better than nothing.
                  Being a bit of a language geek, I can do the quotidian stuff to which you refer, in several languages. But I can’t discuss politics or philosophy in any of them except English. That level of competence is challenging – though not impossible – for second language learners, but much easier for native speakers. This is one of the reasons why they’re necessary to survival of any language.
                  In my view, the heavy lifting needs to go into producing native speakers. Parents who speak te reo need to understand their vital role in that, and how to go about it. It isn’t necessary for children to hear te reo when they’re with their parents at the supermarket. But they need to hear it exclusively in the home, at least for the first 3 to 4 years of their lives. Remember those European children referred to above? They all became competent in English once they started school. And remember how you yourself learned English.
                  RNZ and other outlets could help the parents by broadcasting substantive te reo programmes, rather than just tokenistic greetings and the like.
                  No apologies for going on about this issue: I’m sad at the loss of te reo from NZ society, and I’d love to see a real revival. Nothing I hear at present suggests that’s happening.

  7. savenz 8

    Why does Brash always pop up when National are in opposition? Tales from the Crypt indeed! Halloween’s over.

    Saying that at least Brash puts a face to it, rather that than the sneaky National ways of pretending to be Maori ‘partner’ while undermining Maori and causing friction between Maori. That’s worse!

    Brash tends to unite people… against his views.

  8. Gristle 9

    Speaking Te Reo is a subversive act. The dominant culture cannot understand the language (and maybe the sentiment.). Part of Don Brash’s trouble with speaking Maori is that it excludes him from the conversation and allows for a non neoliberal economic framework to be used to arrive at agreement on what to do.

    • AB 9.1

      “it excludes him from the conversation and allows for a non neoliberal economic framework to be used ”
      +1 Gristle
      This must be really infuriating for him – people are talking but he doesn’t have control over it and doesn’t get to decide the acceptable boundaries of the narrative.

  9. The Fairy Godmother 10

    Ka Pai Enzo!

  10. red-blooded 11

    We had an appalling opinion piece about the same issue published in the ODT last Thursday or Friday, by a local guy. I wrote a response (which wasn’t published, as I’ve had a letter in within the last fortnight), but the heartening thing was that three other people also wrote in condemning his racist rant (one who’s living in Budapest at present but hails from – I think – Milton). Plus, The Spinoff named this piece the next day as the worst column of the year.

    I think Espiner is doing a great job. I struggled my way through a course in te reo a few years ago and never got as confident as he sounds. I’m sure he’s not getting everything right, but he’s flying a flag and he should be congratulated on being committed enough to upskill himself and promote te reo as a living language.

    • gsays 11.1

      Got to agree red blooded, while I often don’t know the meaning of what is being said, with repetition, it gets in.
      I salute all the presenters for their efforts and RNZ’s stance.

      From time to time I greet reps or the public in te reo, at work, and unfailingly get a positive rresponse.

      Haters gotta hate. (To quote da youff).

      • greywarshark 11.1.1

        Never knew much positive stuff or history of Maori when young. Now I try to korero all over the rohe and know a bit of tikanga which can be a nuisance to my impatient mind, but hey it is different cultures acknowledging each others rituals. I could even hongi correctly if appropriate. And everyone knows what koha is.

  11. Tricledrown 12

    Don Brash and Gallagher have huge support from the skin heads neo Nazis the KKK and be the draft dodging pussy grabber in Chief.
    Don Brash looks like a skin head.

  12. mac1 13

    Garner has had a criticism of Brash on air.

    http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/shows/2017/11/duncan-garner-earns-free-car-wash-with-don-brash-takedown.html

    Whilst I concur with Garner’s sentiment, I’m not sure that he is attacking Brash for the right reason when he says “You’re a generation past”.

    Brash is a recidivist bigot over decades and deserves people’s opprobrium.

    But I hope that the ‘generation past’ is not another form of unpalatable ‘-ism’; that of ‘agism’. Rather, I hope Garner is saying, as am I, that Brash’s views are from another time when such objectionable beliefs were more often held than now.

    • Tricledrown 13.1

      Brash is a bean brained bean counter with no emotional IQ.
      Typical of a Racist.
      Racists have problems forming long term relationships because of this.
      A pale stale male.
      I wonder if Don Brash would bring home some of his only supporters likes of the National front Skin Heads Neo Nazis Motor cycle gangs.
      Don would look good in bondage gear whipping up some racism.
      Luckily in NZ they are a negligible minority.

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