Dog whistles and South Auckland garages

Written By: - Date published: 8:19 am, December 14th, 2022 - 20 comments
Categories: Christopher Luxon, labour, politicans, racism, uncategorized - Tags:

I have a confession to make.  I grew up in South Auckland.  Aupito William Sio’s statement that South Auckland was the home of the young and beautiful and gifted has always struck a chord with me.

My family’s home property had a garage on it.  The structure was pretty simple.  My dad and my mum and my older sister lived there for a while as the family home was built.  Heady times.

Our garage deteriorated a bit.  It was not the sort of place that you would take your mates to and drink and talk about the meaning of life.

Next door my mate Steve moved in when I was a teenager.  We went through adolescence together.  His family’s garage was much better.  It was bigger and drier.  We could drink bourbon and beer and listen to music and talk about our future.

We turned out ok.  Steve became a New York cop.  Another mate became an accountant, a third became wealthy through real estate speculation and I ended up being a lawyer.  One of our group turned to the dark side.  For the record his surname and his ethnic grouping was “White”.

So I have always been sensitive about criticisms of South Auckland.  It is a great place.  There are areas of wealth but it is mostly poor but people are proud and very community focused.

Chris Luxon has received yet more notoriety by choosing to criticise South Auckland garages.  He said this:

“If you’re sitting in a garage in South Auckland with your two brothers and you’re thinking about life and where you’re going, consciously or unconsciously, the gang life looks pretty attractive.

“They are the people who have got the money, got all the bling, flash cars and that looks incredibly attractive.

“It does come back to family dynamics as well.”

I can confidently say that my mates and I never talked about the gang life let alone how it was pretty attractive.  But clearly I was not the sort of young person he was talking about.  The racist subtext of what he said is really strong.

An uproar has occurred.

Aupito William Sio, in my view one of Labour’s best MPs, has accused Luxon of engaging in racist dog whistling politics.  From the Herald:

Sio, who lives in the area, told the Herald Luxon’s comment was an outrageous generalisation of South Auckland youth, racist and dog whistle style politics.

“You’re attacking the South Auckland garage with your dog whistle stereotypes, when if you lived in South Auckland you’d know the garage is a sanctuary for many South Auckland families.

“Garages are places of family gatherings, for worshipping, funerals, 21st birthdays, Christmas celebrations.

“Luxon does not know South Auckland young people because the majority are good law-abiding, who listen to their parents, give back to their communities through sport and the church and lead good lives.

“He is grouping all South Auckland young people in with the very few who get themselves into trouble.”

Sio’s conclusion is wonderful:

“It’s dog whistle politics and I hope the young people – the generation of the six Bs – brown, beautiful, brainy, bilingual, bicultural and bold – stand up to this guy.

Luxon in response has apologised “if anyone is offended”.  His apology is almost as bad as his original statement.  A large part of South Auckland was offended.  It is almost as if they do not count.

As I have said previously Luxon is no John Key.  He is more like Don Brash, willing to use the dog whistle to rally support among the right.  Who can forget his describing poor people as bottom feeders?

To add to all of this he will not commit to serving a full term if National does not win the next election.

All good progressives should do our best to help him with his new career.  He is neither suited nor sufficiently talented to perform his current job.

20 comments on “Dog whistles and South Auckland garages ”

  1. AB 1

    Luxon is living proof why senior roles in business are the worst possible preparation for politics and especially for genuine political leadership. Those jobs tend to attract people who are already morally and spiritually damaged and then they exacerbate that damage.

    • Thinker 1.1

      If the gangs offered to block vote National if Luxon ran the Christmas BBQ he'd be straight down to the Mad Butcher for some sausies IMHO.

  2. James Simpson 2

    Are you denying that there are kids in South Auckland who are being attracted to gangs? I guarantee you there are.

    I am also getting a bit concerned with people underestimating Luxon. It was a constant theme in 2007 and 2008 when we assumed Clark would wipe the floor with Key in the campaign and he would return to his corporate life. Just read TheStandard archives and the exact same things were said then as they are now.

    Luxon is no Key, and he would be the first to admit that. But he is dangerous and odds on to be PM in 12 months.

    • Chris 2.1

      He's odds on, all right. National's still up to its neck in dirty politics, but they've fine-tuned their delivery to make them close to if not untouchable. Instead of black ops smear campaigns, which probably still go on, it's more like 'lie and walk away, then repeat', and it's working.

      Labour needs to either work out what to do, or hope for a miracle. They certainly can't keep doing this:

      https://www.bspnova.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/mowing-the-lawn.png

  3. Tiger Mountain 3

    Had some great times in Sth Auckland garages when I worked in the Car Industry for 20 years. They could be utilised for anything, such as extra living space, storage, social clubs, lounges, craft production/workshops, family shrines with photos and keepsakes, or even parking cars.

    Mr “7 pads” Luxury Luxon does not deserve to be Prime Minister of this country.

  4. We get a glimpse of what lies beneath. He is a cold man. Many photos of his face in micro response show distaste and calculation imo. "Man of the people" he is not.

  5. Nic the NZer 5

    Was the expression the right way around in the post?

    If Christopher doesn't win the next election I doubt he can commit to waking up the next morning without a knife sticking out of his back either.

  6. theotherpat 6

    What is the dark side?….gangs?…voting national?

  7. Incognito 7

    Seems that Luxon is getting his cues from watching gangsta rap videos on YouTube. How bizarre.

  8. bwaghorn 8

    Atleast luxons honest I guess ,key pretending to care about poor people even the brown ones.

  9. Maurice 9

    So … graduated from chasing cars to chasing garages?

  10. Ffloyd 10

    Arrogant prick. Just my opinion.He is a man of no substance and a long list of cliches and catchphrases. Cluxon should resign. He appears to be racist. RESIGN Seems to be his go to for everyone else. Should take his own advice. And take OffenDull with him..

  11. Thinker 11

    Damn. He forgot to mention that every South Auckland garage has a stolen Subaru being broken down for parts (usually after being used in a ram raid or as a getaway vehicle). I guess maybe the tour bus went by too fast to get a good look, or maybe the silver spoon had become dislodged and was getting painful to sit on…

  12. Today Luxon said our UNO ( and WHO)? do not meet with his approval. He says they are weak. Further he thought small nations should be armed.

    According to Granny Herald that makes him a Statesman. Lol. (Help with the link would be appreciated.)

    He hasn't had a portfolio yet, further he is on record he will probably leave if he does not win. Strange idea of a Statesman.

    So….. interpretation.

    Rule of Law is weak? ie discussion and collective action is a waste of time?

    Armed Police? and an armed and loaded military is needed for small countries in his view?

    People who are better at interpreting "Slux" might help.

  13. Murray Cotter 13

    Appalling comments from the Leader oof the National Party, out of touch, we cannot let this man to be PM of our country

  14. Luxon is showing his true colours : first " we are not working for bottom feeders", after businesses are "soft " in front of Tories in UK and in Australian media, giving tax cuts for rich ( finally cancelled), anti salaries increase, anti 10 days sick leave in a pandemic, asking for borders to be opened when Delta was killing hundreds of thousands, anti Fair pay agreement law , anti 3 waters co governance, anti everything Labour is doing to lift New Zealand from the mess left by his predecessor. National lies are blatant. Unfortunately they owned the media: we all know facts but majority of kiwis get news only from media which is spreading misleading falsehoods at the orders of their owners or CEO. Same tactics as Trump , Boris , Scott Morrison : lie lielie repeat . With TVNZ political journalists advising Luxon to be more on photo op acknowledged by journalists on TV…Labour would loose the election not because they've not achieved what they've promissed to as facts speak for themselves but because of media spreading misleading falsehoods .

  15. Bearded Git 15

    And don't forget the arrogant prick called Maori "thugs"

  16. Heather 16

    This self opinionated, self satisfied prick, has no idea of what goes on in South Auckland garages or any other garages in NZ, other than his own well stuffed garage with cars and toys.

  17. Muttonbird 17

    The issue for David Seymour is that local and global phenomenon, Jacinda Ardern, has anointed him, "arrogant prick".

    That sticks and he knows it.

    A keen student of one-line political theatre, Seymour will know how damaging this super-meme is which is why he napalmed the media al day today with 'the meek shall inherit the earth' shit. Also, he likes to maximise self-promotion whenever the opportunity may arise.

    This whole episode was born out of Seymour's line of questioning the other day. He wanted the PM to acknowledge and apologise for mistakes, but more correctly he wanted the PM to acknowledge and apologise for things he saw as mistakes.

    I'm sure student politician David Rimmer thought this was a great idea, but it kind of got away from him.

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