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Heather Du Plessis-Allan wants New Zealand to be more radical

Written By: - Date published: 8:50 am, November 19th, 2017 - 57 comments
Categories: Deep stuff, journalism, Media, the praiseworthy and the pitiful - Tags:

There is an an interesting column written by Heather Du Plessis-Allan in the Herald this morning where she advocates, I think, for New Zealand to be more progressive.

It starts like this:

It’s good to have Australia as our neighbour. Australians make us look good.

Take, for example, this week’s same-sex marriage referendum. Welcome to the club, Australia. We joined it five years ago.

Also this week, the developing humanitarian crisis on Manus Island. How good do we look coming to the rescue and offering to take 150 boat people? How bad does Australia look saying no?

Those are both rhetorical questions. Of course we look better. Australia deserves the judgmental side-eye we’re casting across the ditch.

Amen to that.

This week, former Wallaby turned author Peter FitzSimons rubbed Australia’s collective faces in it even further, penning an opinion piece on how New Zealand is “lapping” Australia.

New Zealand’s record is better, he reckons, because of our vastly superior race relations, refusal to join the invasion of Iraq, embracing of same-sex marriage donkey’s years ago, attempt to ditch the Union Jack and, finally, election of a young woman as Prime Minister. Eat dirt, Straya.

Except, the truth is New Zealand is not as progressive as we like to think.

I take from this that Heather thinks we should be more radical.  To the barricades everyone!

Sure, if you cast your mind back through the years, there is plenty of reason to feel proud: giving women the vote, protesting against South African Apartheid, going nuclear-free, refusing the US request to join the Iraq invasion.

All thanks to progressive Governments, and the last three thanks to Labour Governments.

But, as time has gone on, there are fewer reasons. What have we done in the 14 years since our last big stand, when Helen Clark told George Dubya Bush to take a running jump over Iraq? Not a lot. In fact, we’ve started doing the United States’ bidding again. We’ve since been in both Afghanistan and Iraq.

Nine of those 14 years have been under National.  And Labour opposed going into Iraq, twice.

We were hardly at the vanguard of legalising same-sex marriage. By 2012, when we did it, more than a dozen other countries had. We came to the party 11 years after the first.

And it happened thanks to a Labour back bencher.  Not only that but a majority of National MPs voted against the provision.

She then gets stuck into National’s flawed change the flag vanity project.

Plus, if we were so progressive, we would have changed the flag. Forget all the excuses about the disappointing designs. If we were really into the idea, we would’ve demanded something worth backing and pushed it through.

But strangely she demands that the Government trashes our relationship with our closest neighbour.

We seem to have no intention to follow through on our offer to take 150 refugees. It looks more like a political play by Jacinda Ardern, who knows it resonates well with her core voters without upsetting anyone other voters, because it’ll never happen.

If Ardern meant to take those 150 refugees, she’d appeal directly to Papua New Guinea and to hell with what Australia thinks. But she hasn’t.

And she thinks that we should let the Manus Island refugees starve, just to make a point.  Stalin would have been proud.

Our hands aren’t clean of the Manus Island debacle as it is. We have just pledged $3 million towards keeping the refugees there, perhaps in better circumstances, but still there.

Although she does get stuck into the past treatment of our polynesian brothers and sisters.

And we may dislike Australia’s treatment of Kiwi immigrants, but we have our own chequered history of bullying the citizens of smaller nations. The Dawn Raids are a case in point.

Note to Heather the dawn raids occurred under Robert Muldoon’s National government.

I welcome Heather’s new found radical nature.  She has applauded much of what Labour has done in the past and criticised National for its regressive reactionary ways.

If Heather wants to go full hog and join the Labour Party then this can be done from here.

57 comments on “Heather Du Plessis-Allan wants New Zealand to be more radical ”

  1. If Ardern meant to take those 150 refugees, she’d appeal directly to Papua New Guinea and to hell with what Australia thinks. But she hasn’t.

    Right-wingers are always full of helpful advice on what the left’s politicians should do, almost always with a view to getting them to make some disastrous propaganda-worthy mistake. This one’s no different.

    The pretence at being progressive is another feature – so, so forward-thinkingly progressive, right up until you want to restore public services or help the poor, then the mask drops.

    • Frankie and Benjy 1.1

      I agree there seems to be attempts to manufacture mistakes for the new government from their opponents. Mike Hosking seems very keen for them to spend on all sorts of things, like free ambulance services. He may just have become a more generous soul but I can’t help suspect him of trying to create Steven Joyce’s $11B hole so he can then criticize them for “tax and spend”.

    • Wensleydale 1.2

      Agreed. The whole article seems a thinly veiled excuse to say “We’ve done a whole heap of cool shit… but Labour still sucks.”

  2. Sparky 2

    And I gather not one word on what should I believe be radicalising people across the country the upcoming CP-TPP?

  3. Zorb6 3

    Do she and Soper have a ‘good cop’,’bad cop’ thing going on.HDA=*yawn*.

    • CLEANGREEN 3.1

      Yes of course, Heather should be ignored.
      Most importantly;

      We as members of our community must firstly have a deep analysis of the pros & cons of opening the floodgates to “refugeees” firstly.

      Jacinda has both pledged this “public conversation/input” also.

      This last week Jacinda has sent out to us and many others her letter promising us this.

      • OnceWasTim 3.1.1

        Yep @CG. But Heather would probably counter that you’re just a boring old fart moaning all the time and you need to get with the times.
        The problem is – she’s married to one.
        Maybe its a case of wood and trees, J’accuse and all that.

        Progress to HdP-A is about as profound as an iPhone8 and the gorgeous taste of a hint of pepper on a pear – especially when witnessed by a fawning public.
        I wonder how much she clipped the ticket for those wonderful words of wisdom.

  4. patricia bremner 4

    Heather is shallow is as shallow does. I would call it looking for an angle. It must be galling to see someone like Jacinda, younger? doing so well.

    Many of these media people have just realized the game has changed and their opinions don’t matter so much any more.

    This PM speaks directly to the people using media stands and face book to clearly state her views.

    For those who said she is Peter’s puppet or ruled by a cabal of older men, I say “Really?’

    She is quick articulate and has excellent instincts, and is accorded accolades by those who know or meet her. Peter’s said ‘She is a tough negotiator”

    A few wobbles by some of the newbies is to be expected. Quite a lot has begun in a month. !00 days will be interesting, which is more than we can say about wee Heather.

    • Stunned Mullet 4.1

      HDPA does as her position is wont to do – write a bit of fluff for money to fill a column or two in a paper.

      The game has changed at all and the medias opinions count/don’t count as much as they ever have.

      I would caution Arden against going down the social media route of communication.

      Peter’s said she’s a tough negotiator “snort” well he’s unlikely to say anything derogatroy is he ? At present the jury is out on the PMs negotiating skills as it is on the new government, none of us will really have anything substantive to go on until the delivery of the budget.

    • OnceWasTim 4.2

      Do you happen to remember 60 minuites of a few years ago – many currant and raison affairs programmes tried to emulate.
      “I’m Louise Joyce, I’m in-depth journalist, I’m Max Headroom” as they turn to camera and pout their lips feigning that ‘look of authority’

      I suspect it’s something H ‘doo’ P-A is rather bitter about missing out on.
      Here she is, shacked up with some raspy voiced hack who is becoming about as relevant as a piece of turd on its way to Moa Point NOW advocating radicalism.

      All she reminds me of is the era of bodgies and widgies.

  5. Muttonbird 5

    She extremely muddled of thought in a vain effort to be a balanced external critic and she a very poor writer, a mimic of her mentor, Duncan Garner.

    • greywarshark 5.1

      Dunkin’ Gingernut.

      Where is he to be found when he is home – I don’t have television so miss these powerhouse thinkers?

  6. Ed 6

    HDPA – incoherent

  7. AB 7

    Because her thinking is not anchored in any consistent first principles she tends to lurch all over the place in a self-contradictory fashion. Plenty like this, Garner comes to mind particularly.

    • Muttonbird 7.1

      +1. You find this with centrists. The lack of consistent core principles means they regularly blurt out contradictions.

      • greywarshark 7.1.1

        ‘Blurting out contradictions’ – sounds like farts!

        This reminds me of someone’s story about farts. She helped an elderly lady who was quite crippled, leaning over to manipulate her arms a little but then farted loudly. Her client thought it tremendously funny and said she got more exercise from laughing than from the physiotherapy, calling it ‘internal jogging’.

        Now I think my piece of trivia is more amusing and interesting than HDPA’s.

  8. Philg 8

    The media is not about informing people, it us about entertaining them. Heather is simply trying to keep her job. Quality journalism, or lack thereof, is the issue.

    • Ed 8.1

      She only has a job because she writes what the owners want her to write.
      The same applies to her reactionary husband Barry Soper.
      No independent thinking.
      No real journalism.
      Just write what the establishment wants you to write.
      And collect the cheque.

      • greywarshark 8.1.1

        All of her group have a tea party, and take away the cups to their keyboards to read the tealeaves, and see our future in them.

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 8.2

      “The media is not about informing people, it us about entertaining them.”

      Number One – it is about putting eyeballs in front of marketers.

  9. mauī 9

    We could have demanded a decent flag in our own time, instead we were demanded to accept some dudes red and blue logo piece of sh..

  10. eco maori 10

    Sorry but Jacinda does not waste her time trying to be deceitful like national does.
    I think Jacinda plan to bring climate change refugees to NZ is awesome they can work and buy renewable energy plant and build there house to survive global warming. Or buy here in NZ if that’s the answer. She will teach them how to survive global warming this is better than my idea of gifting solar power as they will appreciate the solar plant and look after it this is what friendly humane naibour do if we don’t act now it will cost US more in the future this is what the good people of OUR WORLD SOCIETY expect of us Ka pai

  11. Kat 11

    Just another example of rock bottom awful writing by someone who is no more than a wannabe celeb journo. A role she fits perfectly.

  12. UncookedSelachimorpha 12

    Hardly a beacon of light.

    Typical of the new right-wing, they are no longer consistently socially conservative and are happy to be socially progressive in places, because that type of progressive doesn’t cost the rich a cent.

  13. Philip Ferguson 13

    The dawn raids began under Labour.

    The link the author makes to the NZ history site actually says this. It then says they *intensified* under National.

    Helen Clark also sent members of the NZ military to iraq – just before the bidding closed for reconstruction projects.

    • mickysavage 13.1

      National made the dawn raids a political weapon, not Labour.

      Helen had only proposed reconstruction forces.

    • greywarshark 13.2

      Philip Ferguson
      I couldn’t see a clear statement that the dawn raids began under Labour in the
      links presented.

      So I went to wikipedia which often concisely shows the way and that agrees with your comment. Here is what they say and some background.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Police_raid

      During the late 1960s and early 1970s, New Zealand’s economy had declined due to several international developments: a decline in international wool prices in 1966, Britain joining the European Economic Community in 1973 which deprived NZ of a major market for dairy products, and the 1973 oil crisis. This economic downturn led to increased crime, unemployment and other social ailments, which disproportionately affected the Pacific Islander community.[5]

      In response to these social problems, Prime Minister Kirk created a special police task force in Auckland in 1973 which was tasked with dealing with overstayers. Its powers also included the power to conduct random checks on suspected overstayers. Throughout 1974, the New Zealand Police conducted dawn raids against overstayers which sparked criticism from human rights groups and sections of the press. In response to public criticism, the Labour Immigration Minister Fraser Colman suspended the dawn raids until the government developed a “concerted plan.” In April 1974, Kirk also introduced a two–month amnesty period for overstayers to register themselves with the authorities and be granted with a two–month visa extension. Kirk’s change in policies were criticized by the mainstream press, which highlighted crimes and violence perpetrated by Māori and Pacific Islanders.[6]

      In July 1974, the opposition National Party leader Muldoon promised to reduce immigration and to “get tough” on law and order issues if his party was elected as government. He criticized the Labour government’s immigration policies for contributing to the economic recession and a housing shortage. During the 1975 general elections, the National Party also played a controversial electoral advertisement that was later criticized for stoking negative racial sentiments about Polynesian migrants.[7] Once in power, Muldoon’s government accelerated the Kirk government’s police raids against Pacific overstayers.[3]

      …The Dawn Raids were condemned by different sections of New Zealand society including the Pacific Islander and Māori communities, church groups, employers and workers’ unions, anti-racist groups, and the opposition Labour Party. One Pacific group known as the Polynesian Panthers combated the Dawn Raids by providing legal aid to detainees and staging retaliatory “dawn raids” on several National cabinet ministers including Bill Birch and Frank Gill, the Minister of Immigration. The raids were also criticized by elements of the police and the ruling National Party for damaging race relations with the Pacific Island community.[8]

      [My Note: the protests were against National Party ministers and were made by the opposition Labour Party which had not mounted an offensive against PI, but all overstayers. So National Party misusing law that Labour had instigated.] Critics also alleged that the Dawn Raids unfairly targeted Pacific Islanders since Pacific Islanders only comprised one-third of the overstayers but made up 86% of those arrested and prosecuted for overstaying. The majority of overstayers were from Great Britain, Australia, and South Africa.[2] The Muldoon government’s treatment of overstayers also damaged relations with Pacific countries like Samoa and Tonga, and generated criticism from the South Pacific Forum. By 1979, the Muldoon government terminated the Dawn Raids since the deportation of illegal Pacific overstayers had failed to alleviate the ailing New Zealand economy.[2]

      National Party racist advertisement drawn for them by Hanna Barbera, USA professionals.
      https://teara.govt.nz/en/video/2158/national-party-advertisement

      • greywarshark 13.2.1

        Bit of social history from those who are vulnerable.
        https://teara.govt.nz/en/zoomify/29588/dawn-raids

      • Philip Ferguson 13.2.2

        Micky Savage said this: “Note to Heather the dawn raids occurred under Robert Muldoon’s National government.”

        But the article that Micky Savage linked to said this: “Dawn raids on the homes of alleged overstayers by police had occurred in 1974 but intensified in October 1976.”

        So, the dawn raids clearly *began* under Labour.

        And here’s Te Ara/Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, which is more authoritative than wikipedia:

        “In 1974 the Kirk government clamped down on people overstaying the time allowed by their visas. Pacific Islanders attracted the most attention, with Samoans and Tongans particularly affected, and ‘dawn raids’ by police on the homes of suspected overstayers were introduced in 1974. Immigration policy continued to be tightened under the National government that won power in 1975. Dawn raids ended in the late 1970s after considerable public outcry, including protests by the Polynesian Panthers, a group of New Zealand-born Pacific Islanders influenced by the American Black Panthers movement.”

        Some of us were around at the time and protested dawn raids under *both* Labour and National.

        • greywarshark 13.2.2.1

          Okay but I see that Wikipedia is more informative than Te Ara. Which of course should be authoritative.

          More info from Wikipedia, providing an explanation about overstayer push. With so many centred in Auckland in the PI communities it was a practical place to start, rather than searching round the country for the European oddbods. But the lack of respect shown to the PI overstayers as told in some of the personal anecdotes – when it comes to immigration the authorities can work themselves up into a hostile lather that matches moral outrage.

        • mickysavage 13.2.2.2

          And as I said “National made the dawn raids a political weapon, not Labour.”

  14. Ed 14

    It’s ok to be socially progressive – it’s only threatening the establishment if you challenge the economy and be economically radical.

  15. greywarshark 15

    Ho ho I thought it must be a George Constanza moment (a loser can change their future to positive by doing the exact opposite to usual). But acshually it’s all about ticking boxes that show us up on League Tables for the Best Girls and Boys College at winning prizes. Ha ha we are better than Oz, we did this and they didn’t. So reactive. So lacking in our own set of principles and practices. So style-conscious, it seems. But we are marked to be losers. We need to follow George’s progress, because our country is George, NZ is George!
    Heeere’s George:

    Changes I would like, Morgan Williams, previous P. Commissioner of the Environment discussed, changing a conurbation with social and economic difficulties from the bottom up, giving people amenities where it mattered. Changes wrought by management and infrastructure with positive and helpful outcomes, changes made by people at the bottom end with good outcomes. Bus stop waiting booths, people clearing litter from their own area (each bagful earned 3 eggs or something). Big and little things, rewards available for effort, often done and voila – a change to be proud of. NZ could announce with pride that a country is lifted up by the millions of poor people rising and improving their status. Australia wouldn’t have a shit show in hell of matching that achievement.

    The area making improvements was: Curitiba, Brazil
    Story of cities #37: how radical ideas turned Curitiba into Brazil’s …
    https://www.theguardian.com › World › Cities › Brazil
    May 6, 2016 – As an architect and mayor, Jaime Lerner led the movement that transformed Curitiba into an environmentally friendly ‘laboratory for urban planning’. … A thousand miles to the south in the city of Curitiba, capital of the agricultural state of Paraná, urban planners were hard at …

    I suggest that Auckland seek to become a sister city with Curitiba and get some new and provocative ideas that will make a huge difference. They seek to move forward and confront the present and future. We are scuttling back to our colonial past in the control of thick and mendacious land bankers, pseudo-farmers and wealth-obsessed people with wizened intellects and philosophies, hypnotised by materialism. Stop looking at moribund Australia that is sinking back to becoming a South African model of white smarties, a new sort of wasp that buzzes around in ever decreasing circles, counting success on the number of people it stings.

    The people who have been the Parliamentary Commissioners for Environment are the ones with good ideas that we should listen to and follow. HDPA you aren’t in the same league. Mark – fail.

    Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment – Wikipedia
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parliamentary_Commissioner_for_the_Environment
    The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment is an independent Officer of the New …
    New Zealand’s first three Parliamentary Commissioners for the Environment (from left): Helen Hughes (1987–1997), Dr Morgan Williams (1997–2007), Dr Jan Wright (2007–2017). Agency overview. Jurisdiction, New Zealand.

  16. One Anonymous Bloke 16

    What have we done in the 14 years since our last big stand…?

    That was clever*, to get that one in before the government has had time to introduce its equal pay bill.

    *terms and conditions apply.

    • tracey 16.1

      So her article is really telling Nats and their voters to put out and accept more progressive policies in election 20?

      • One Anonymous Bloke 16.1.1

        I agree with AB’s characterisation at 7: it feels more like she’s blundering around to little purpose.

        Edit: I don’t know why anyone ever expects profound commentary or analysis from journalists. They’re far better at reporting things that happen. Sometimes.

  17. I think her column today and the other fluff column by Stacey Jones in the SST have just finished me with the print media forever. The only good thing are the cartoons.

    • tracey 17.1

      It is so incongrous that I can only think this is her article which is used to point to “balance” in her coverage… 1 to 10 is the ratio I think

    • The Fairy Godmother 17.2

      I enjoy the code cracker, Kakuro and suduko puzzles. I generally do them while I have my morning coffee.

      The other stuff in the paper is pretty lame and it is written for the business class and not ordinary people. This video by Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman is a little blurry and a bit old but still very relevant today. It explains in a devastating way that we don’t have a Liberal media but one that supports the viewpoint of the wealthy. for instance there is a business section in the paper but where is the workers section. Issues like job losses are framed positively if it helps profit making and so on. Issues around democracy are reported in an incredibly biased way. The treatment of the Indonesian elections where there was violence and irregularities resulting in the election of Suharto was mild with much glossed over. The violence of East Timor was ignored. The Nicaraguan elections where the Sandanistas were elected were treated as if they were communist and democracy had failed wheras observers noted little if no irregularities in the democratic process. A real eye-opener and I recommend it. http://www.filmsforaction.org/watch/the-myth-of-the-liberal-media-the-propaganda-model-of-news-1997/

      • greywarshark 17.2.1

        Ordinary people should be reading the business class, as they are the ones affecting the lives of ordinary people AND their elected representatives.
        Everything else is gloss and tinsel and advice on ingrown toenails, and reflux.

        • The Fairy Godmother 17.2.1.1

          I agree but it is the perspective it is from that is important.

          • greywarshark 17.2.1.1.1

            Yes i agree but we have to watch and keep our information intelligence up because so many of these people have ceased to have basic human attributes. We need to watch them with interest to see what is next on their agendas and their distracted minds.

    • Grey Area 17.3

      I think you mean Stacey Kirk (another lightweight like HDPA) rather than the former Worriers halfback. 😀 Kirk is someone who seems to over-reach herself on a regular basis and who also based on past experience I put in the “ignore” basket.

  18. Foreign waka 18

    I watched Q&A and the interview with NZ PM Jacinda.
    She is awesome! Fearless and not pretending that she possess all the answers, making clear that she needs to look at issues and think before taking a step, implying that this will be an inclusive exercise. Hallelujah, the kids have a future.

    I also have read Heather Du Plessis-Allan article and I did not get this feeling of aha, oh, great article at all.
    Seems there are two different worlds, one is real the other is make belief. This was my thought when comparing comments and events.

  19. Paul Campbell 19

    A small historical note – I’m pretty sure I was out there getting arrested during the Springbok Tour under a National govt, not a Labour one – it’s not just governments that do that stuff, sometimes we all have to go into the streets and shame them into it

  20. mary_a 20

    HdPA and hubby Soper are still prickly over the election loss to the Labour/NZF/Greens coalition. So they channel their anger and spite through right wing media (NZH)! Ho hum, very predictable and terribly boring.

    Seems Natz MPs and their equally sour supporter media muppets don’t like it up ’em! They need to suck it up, get over it and get on with it!

  21. lurgee 21

    Psssst, Mickey, she’s not saying we need to be MORE RADICAL, she’s saying we’re not radical and should stop patting ourselves on the back for being not as primitive as Australia. That’s why the column is titled “NZ is not as progressive as we think” not “NZ needs to be more radical.” Nice massaging of words and meaning, though. Though to be honest I think even saying “NZ is not as progressive as we think” is to give NZ far more of a positive gloss than it deserves. This country is not progressive, nor radical, nor leftwing.

    Thus far, our long dreamed of ‘leftwing’ government has failed to do anyting meaningful about 90 day trial employments (“Oh, well set up a tribunal that no-one will use, rather than, you know, scrapping the law”) and signed us up to the TPP under a different name. Way to go. And we’ve still got people tying themselves into knots of ecstacy because we’re got a re-branded rightwing as leftwing.

    • greywarshark 21.1

      Cheer up lurgee, try to get a good sleep each night, and search out your old teddy bear for comfort. We still hope that we can get advances. There was no way the gummint could turn away from TPP and hold our position in the world’s financial markets to which we are exposed in a very full frontal way.

      So bide your time, and keep watching and pushing out the plank bit by bit. Then we may be able to demand something be done or the ticking crocodile will get them.

    • mickysavage 21.2

      That’s why I said “There is an an interesting column written by Heather Du Plessis-Allan in the Herald this morning where she advocates, I think, for New Zealand to be more progressive”.

      And early days. There are still 70 days left of the first 100 days.

  22. eco maori 22

    +100 marina but OUR Coalition government needs check that all of there adviceser don’t have a conflict of interest I.E national and international $$$$$$$ Ka pai I,m going to buy Jimmy Barns book heard its a good yarn. Kia kaha

  23. mosa 23

    The progressive left certainly does not need Heather who lets the wind flap her tongue around and is a total waste of space.

    These people are searching for their next John Key who if i remember rightly never did one thing progressive in foreign relations or humanitarian issues in the wider world or here at home except entertain foreign dignitaries with a round of golf and pose for selfies afterwards while selling out our country.

    What a sickening joke that we have to have people like this writing dribble without actually understanding the any of the facts behind the issues they are reporting on.

    Media cleanout pleeease.

  24. piper 24

    Business is Business,and the coalition understand that,this is why three heads may bounce off one another,and fair social compromise shall prevail, for business and society.

    Du-Plessis Allan,has to fill her column with her right wing party ramblings,as all of them are still smarting from not being in dominating control.How would her column Masters, respond about a positive comment about our coalition government.

    Let them suck on sour grapes, for years to come.

  25. R.P. Mcmurphy 25

    Heather Duplicity-alien is a typical msm liteweight. she arrived from nowhere and now seems to occupy a position where she gets to write whatever bullshit she likes. There is no depth or analysis just kneejerk outbursts that mean bugger all except to wiseacres on skwarkback radio.

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