Kiwi Cultural Cringe is Alive and Well

Written By: - Date published: 4:00 pm, April 22nd, 2019 - 75 comments
Categories: Christchurch Attack, climate change, colonialism, culture, Deep stuff, Economy, Environment, exports, heritage, identity, jacinda ardern, leadership, overseas investment, tourism, trade - Tags: , , , ,

We are a torn little lot, aren’t we? We take much pride in our sports people and teams. We love our artists doing well on the global stage. Millions of tourists flock to our shores each year and pay good money to see a famous film set or jump off bridges hooked to a rubber band. On the other hand, our glaciers are retreating at a more than glacial pace – we are only 0.2% to blame for this – our rivers, lakes, and beaches are so polluted that they are unswimmable (but ‘wadeable’, according to some). Our 100% Pure slogan is and was an urban myth created and propagandised by PR and marketing firms working for the tourism industry and their political mates. However, we can claim to be the only country in the world that exports swamp Kauri logs for table tops. And Fonterra can boast being the largest dairy exporter in the world.

Our unique Māori cultural heritage is not something that it embraced by all people who call themselves Kiwis. The Māori culture is doing well overseas though and apparently perfect for branding of Scottish public relations agencies and the likes. If that makes you cringe, and it should, it is not cultural cringe, more the opposite.

So, what is cultural cringe? According to Wikipedia:

Cultural cringe, in cultural studies and social anthropology, is an internalized inferiority complex that causes people in a country to dismiss their own culture as inferior to the cultures of other countries. It is closely related to the concept of colonial mentality and is often linked with the display of anti-intellectual attitudes towards thinkers, scientists, and artists who originate from a colonial or post-colonial nation. It can also be manifested in individuals in the form of cultural alienation.

I’ve often wondered about a causal link between cultural alienation and the shocking youth suicide rates here in New Zealand, but that’s for another time.

Artists do visit New Zealand, to give concerts, for example, and they all love it here – we wouldn’t expect to hear any different. But visiting is not the same as living here. Our own artists may have mixed feelings about anti-intellectual attitudes as Eleanor Catton can attest. Cultural cringe often goes hand-in-hand with tall poppy syndrome and hero worship (fawning). It is a real shame that she has chosen to stay silent.

Many billionaires are very keen to become New Zealanders and own a (large) slice of our land. These highly successful innovators and entrepreneurs do not come here because of the intellectually stimulating environment. Rather, they buy up pristine spots and turn them into private boltholes, with security systems, bunkers, helipads and all (any MSSA exemptions for ‘pest control’?). No CGT. Of course, they invest here as well, in vineyards, for example, but so can ordinary Kiwi Mum & Dad investors if they have a spare million (put it on the mortgage, Love!).

A donation, split or not, to a political party may help ‘lubricate’ tricky VISA applications or to overcome other bureaucratic hurdles in consent processes, for example. An honour may be thrown in for good measure and to say thanks (‘receipt acknowledged’). Furthermore, a little philanthropy never goes astray if we conveniently ignore that we are not a third-world country or former colony in need of ‘humanitarian help’ – when somebody offers you money for nothing, it pays to not ask questions. The French shouldn’t be so hautain about philanthropy; money is money.

In recent times, our nation had to grapple with its very own shocking events. The eyes of the whole world were upon us and particularly on our PM. By all accounts, her empathic and authentic response was exactly what was needed and the best ‘medicine’ for the collective national and international outpouring of hurt and sadness. She made us feel proud to be Kiwis and we felt that she was symbolising our nation’s values. She will be instrumental in the long healing process too.

The current PM, Jacinda Ardern, has been compared with a previous PM, David Lange, who made us feel similarly proud when he gave his infamous speech at the Oxford Union. However, it remains to be seen whether Ms Ardern will repeat this feat with tackling climate change as “her generation’s nuclear-free moment”.

Interestingly, given her rising star status internationally, some people are starting to wonder whether New Zealand is too ‘small’ for her and when (!) she’ll make the move to something bigger and better somewhere overseas.

To me, this is another clear symptom of cultural cringe. Leading the Government of a nation with just under five millions residents is enormously complex. Would any other job overseas be equally challenging and rewarding at the same time? Would serving this country, her country, somehow not be enough? Would she not like to raise her child here and do what she can to make this a better place? There is so much to do and so much to achieve here …

Alternatively, those people may think of the financial rewards that can be acquired by taking up a so-called high-flying job overseas, as a career-enhancing move. They may overlook (or ignore) that the honour and privilege of leading this country through good and bad times is worth more than a well-paid job somewhere else, at least to some.

Indeed, there are plenty of examples of PMs who have treated the job as a stepping-stone to lucrative positions in the private sector. It looks good on your CV, being PM, and the vast networks of contacts with other movers & shakers come in handy too.

However, I think the main reason for expecting Ms Ardern to leave New Zealand is projection of a cultural cringe that New Zealand is somehow not good enough for ‘tall poppies’. I think that says more about how we, or those people rather, think about ourselves than how we view and value Jacinda Ardern or her personal achievements so far.

75 comments on “Kiwi Cultural Cringe is Alive and Well ”

  1. patricia bremner 1

    I had not considered that as the reason for those suggestions, mainly from the right

    It appeared to me "move on to greater things Jacinda, then we might be able to compete".

  2. Ad 2

    The fact that Ardern's popularity gives her career options was well covered already by Hooten on April 5th:

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=12219407

    Most of our ex-PM's leave to powerful overseas positions, or retire like Bolger to their estates.

    It's only really dreadful ones like Shipley trading on a title they held for a few weeks milking the status-struck Chinese into thinking she was worth anything.

    We really are a small country, with few specialties of interest, so most people with talent leave at least for a good stretch. Nothing to be worked up about.

    • greywarshark 2.1

      Bolger does some good things and I think he is in Kiwi Bank. Please advise if I'm right or wrong.

      • Ad 2.1.1

        His first gig after being Prime Minister was overseas as the very influential Ambassador to the United States.

        He's 84 now so yes he still pops in and out of Wellington.

    • fustercluck 2.2

      It is almost as if successful politicians in NZ, on the left and the right, recognise they have a greater market value overseas and move to take advantage of this value. This is understandable in the right, but is it not a capitalist move for those on the left? Are they not exploiting the means of production (reputation, expertise, contacts, etc.) provided to them by the People of NZ for their own personal advantage? It is almost as if the left is accepting a "capitalism for me but not for thee" framework.

      • Ad 2.2.1

        The more pressing problem for Labour is succession planning: when you find a good one, Labour should presume they will leave after a few terms to really flourish.

        To get the replacements, Labour need to attract real talent, and groom and support them. Their ranks look perilously thin of talent still.

      • ken 2.2.2

        If they can do some good for the world, I have no problem with that.

        Do you think only those from the right should be financially rewarded?

    • AB 2.3

      "… so most people with talent leave, at least for a good stretch"

      I tend to think that talent is far more democratically distributed than that.

    • SHG 2.4

      Shipley trading on a title they held for a few weeks
      She was Prime Minister for just over two years – longer than Jacinda’s been in the hot seat. She was and will always be New Zealand’s first female Prime Minister. That means something.

      • Ad 2.4.1

        She should be in jail.

        But it's enough that she'll never do lunch in Wellington again.

    • Newview 2.5

      She may have achieved massive publicity and acclaim overseas for the imagery and empathy but she has achieved very little here when it comes to implementing her policies and actually running the country. Those who might want to employ her in the future as a front person or marketer might be happy. Those who might want someone with the skills needed to run huge companies and have the knowledge and skills to unravel the massive complexities of UN type jobs might be bitterly disappointed.

  3. Dennis Frank 3

    Goddam, another intellectual challenge. As someone who left cringing behind pre-adolescence, I can't be authoritative on the topic so took the easy way out and googled kiwi culture. You don't get much. Ah, right, so I proved your point I suppose.

    Google defaulted to sites pretending to describe it instead of sites that actually do. This tourist page rambled through irrelevant crap like history & table manners, but did cite one item of relevance: "New Zealand’s relaxed and friendly people". Exact opposite of Londoners, according to my daughter who lived there for several recent years.

    https://www.justlanded.com/english/New-Zealand/New-Zealand-Guide/Culture/Kiwi-culture

    This page for immigrants gets to the point somewhat better: "On the surface, Kiwis are friendly and outgoing. But we are also quite private. Although it is easy to start a conversation with us, we do not like sharing a lot of personal information. Topics to avoid include how much people earn, why they do not have any children or are not married, their weight – anything personal."

    "It is OK to ask people what they did on the weekend or how their children are. Sport and weather are also safe topics. We come from a land of wide open spaces so we do not like having people stand too close to us. We walk on the left side of the footpath and we smile at each other a lot."

    https://www.newzealandnow.govt.nz/living-in-nz/settling-in/customs-communication

    So far, we have two leading websites out of two that fail to point out that kiwis cringe when asked about culture. Should I investigate further? Okay, just one more, somewhat irreverent, for younger folk: "Perhaps the most famous Kiwi trait of all is their predominantly optimistic nature in the face of adversity." And I ought to acknowledge that all three featured some maori cultural elements as part of the whole. But the third also failed to refer to the cultural cringe.

    https://theculturetrip.com/pacific/new-zealand/articles/11-things-you-should-know-about-new-zealands-culture/

    So I'm tempted to draw a provisional conclusion that either the cringe has become tacit, or, more likely, discussion of culture just isn't something we want to focus on. In the sixties kiwi culture was summarised as `rugby, racing, and beer'. Nowadays, only beer is still as prominent as then in our collective lifestyle. Rugby is noticeably waning, and racecourses are significantly failing to pull the crowds.

    There is one other feature of traditional kiwi culture that does persist: egalitarianism, or the ethic that results from lack of (apparent) class structure. However, neoliberalism threatens to erode it significantly, since the inequality trend is almost as dramatic here as in the USA. A culture of resentment of elites may be brewing here too, in result, just not yet as evident as elsewhere (such as the ongoing riots in Paris & the current London protests indicate)…

    • JanM 3.1

      Egalitarianism has long gone IMO

      • Muttonbird 3.1.1

        I'm trying to get a young one to understand Mansfield's The Doll's House which is being reviewed for an English essay at school.

        While I'm fairly confident such behaviour in today's urban New Zealand schools is rare I see trouble ahead because of the increasing delineation between the haves and have-nots. This has been vividly described by the furore from the wealthy right wing over a simple CGT wing in last few weeks.

        This country worked very hard for its treasured egalitarianism. It was a badge of honour. Not so now.

        • greywarshark 3.1.1.1

          Many years back I was helping at a Christmas dinner for the community. People had finished, we were clearing tables. A little lad of about 7 came to me and said humbly 'There's a little toy car left on the table over there, do you think they still want it?' I looked round, everyone had gone out, so I told him he could have it. That's a case of how we have had The Doll's House situation and the deprived child for some time and ignored it. He didn't snatch it and run, he really wanted it but came and checked that it was okay for him to have. A well brought-up child, better perhaps than from a family with plenty of cash, and who I hope has been able to access most of his dreams.

          'I seen the little lamp!' And I seen a little car, aren't too far apart.

  4. Kat 4

    Isn't it just speculation from the chattering classes and their media poodles, when did Jacinda Ardern ever say she has intentions of leaving. I agree the PM is often on the blunt end of the insidious Kiwi Tall Poppy Syndrome.

    • bwaghorni 4.1

      Its a meme for morons. Ffs shes a 2 termer atleast.

      • Skunk Weed 4.1.1

        Probably 3 if not 4 the way the Natzi's are going ?

        • bwaghorn 4.1.1.1

          My pick is a sibling for neve another term then out of the limelight after two terms to raise them through the challamging yeats of pre teen and the god awful teens . Unless shes careerist or has developed a messiah complex.

  5. Stuart Munro. 5

    This is really a concession on the part of the wretched MSM, that neither Bridges nor any of his lackluster colleagues could beat Jacinda, not with a hammer, nor in her sleep.

    So they're moving to plan B: is she susceptible to the vanity that doomed Lange, or can she be persuaded to become a smaller princess in a bigger pond? I'm betting that they have misjudged her as usual, and she will persist in spite of their attempts at Medician scheming.

    • McFlock 5.1

      lol it's always a bad sign for one's team when the best chance one has is if the leader of the other team loses interest and goes somewhere else.

      • patricia bremner 5.1.1

        McFlock, my thoughts went there as well. Jacinda has risen to every challenge. She stated 'getting consensus is her job'frown. However Winston is a stubborn man.

        We have to hope they anticipated this outcome in shaping the budget.

        Jacinda doesn't have cultural cringe. We saw that when our elegant PM walked with her partner in her gold dress wearing a beautiful Korowai to meet the Queen and Heads of Commonwealth.

        She, unlike many of us, goes hopefully into the future, because she believes we want the best for each other, and the odd misfit or nasty doesn't change that.

        The puritan in us is afraid she is gaining too much praise and might get knocked off her pedestal. We don’t like too much praise…even when we ask visitors their opinion lol.

        • McFlock 5.1.1.1

          The thing is that even if the labgrns get enough to govern without NZ1, they'd still be fools to cut NZ1 out of the government. Yes, they'd have enough to govern for a term, but the nats learned that people you alienate when you don't need them won't be there when you do need them.

          But the pisser is that zealots will get even more upset than they are now that Labour isn't acting like a junta, which means that leftist infighting would actually make it even more likely that labgrn will need NZ1 come 2023 (if it goes that long).

          Me, I'm happy that the local hospital development is actually moving forward. I'll be interested to see what the budget brings, but I won't be expecting the revolution.

    • SHG 5.2

      It's an acknowledgement that sadly due to the Chch shootings and her comportment and statements after them Ardern will never be as popular as she was last month. It's all downhill from here. Just look at the CGT debacle.

      • Stuart Munro. 5.2.1

        It remains to be seen. The CGT didn't cover her in glory, certainly, but she is less given to idleness than the previous government, and I expect she means to do something real about child poverty before she's done.

        She remains the hope for Labour – Robertson having shown, as expected, that his command of finance is insufficient for the kind of reforms that would be necessary to restructure the post-Douglas economy away from migration based capital gain and toward actual productivity, and which will be necessary for any credible move on sustainability.

        • SHG 5.2.1.1

          What she has – well, had – is incredible popularity because of something that is already fading into memory. She has been almost completely ineffectual at actually achieving policy outcomes. She has represented NZ well to the international news media but I know I'm not the only former Labour voter wishing that she would actually do something.

          • Stuart Munro. 5.2.1.1.1

            "almost completely ineffectual at actually achieving policy outcomes"

            Though she is falling short of our expectations, compared to the previous government her administration is a massive overachiever.

            There are a number of ongoing projects that are working to make good on previous failings – like the removal of fake P house debt for instance, which we would not wish to do without.

            The momentary celebrity arising from her response to Christchurch is not the result of the kind of concerted PR campaign that kept Key above water, but relatively ordinary NZ values. When the fuss dies down, she still has those, and may use them again.

  6. greywarshark 6

    Thinking about education thinking and being prepared for The Great Leap Forward we NZ are sure we have a talent for – for winning with the All Blacks, The Americas Cup, the Silver Ferns. Now these games have all been excellently played, and we have managed to have large get-togethers at expensive stadiums for them.

    However we are cutting down expenditure on universities or limiting Lincoln, cutting off Humanities and building up science so we can find how to make better robots and rockets, shutting down research out of Dunedin, etc. I recently tried to get some useful bit of info in a local publication – oh we already are doing that, we know about it. I know they don't but that is NZ for you, especially the part near farmers, probably nothing gets considered unless it comes through a machine, typewritten.

    Creativity – I've put this ted talk on the How to get there post but also you can have an enjoyable time listening to some useful comments.

    ted talk https://www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinson_says_schools_kill_creativity?language=en

    "Nobody has a clue and yet we are educating children for it?"

    • Skunk Weed 6.1

      Talking to an ex School Teacher yesterday who used to teach Metal Work at a South Auckland Secondary School for 25-30 years evidently the Education Department shutdown their workshops as they were too expensive to run. Like he said the young Polynesian & Maori students love the practical work and hands on educational skills they are learning ?

      Now we just import skilled tradesmen from Overseas as we are not interested in training or educating our own people ?

      30-40 years of useless Government both Labour & National ?

      • simbit 6.1.1

        As a young Maori I loved reading, went to university, ended up with a PhD and am a tenured professor (overseas).

        I suspect your point is to support a diversity of educational pathways?

        • greywarshark 6.1.1.1

          Don't be over-sensitive simbit. Some people like working with physical objects and actually making, working with things. Many of them have been denied an education that enabled them to follow their natural direction. Doing physical work is not bad, and it is not bad to point to that reality; actually it is inverted snobbery if one isn't allowed to mention it.

          Like a Maori guy in Nelson criticising an advertisement for a teacher for a Maori unit with strong control skills or such. He thought it was demeaning; it was factual and fair. Some youngsters aren't used to control, have no self-control and have to be settled before learning can begin. Often they will have stroppy parents who don't teach or guide or advise much at home, but know that they want teachers to make up the short-fall.

          Let's look at how people are, respect the hard worker and tradesperson and help them train in the multiple skills needed so they could work on their own if they chose. File the uni studies on the same shelf as trades – alongside – where all of us are, depending on each other.

          • Molly 6.1.1.1.1

            Simbit was quite politely pointing out casual racism. The implied assumptions that the trades would benefit Maaori and Pasifika students only, and that it was also one of their only options.

            Simbit was right to do so, and the admonishment of sensitivity you have given is undeserved and also a good example of unthinking racism.

            • greywarshark 6.1.1.1.1.1

              Molly

              I think you are picking up on casual racism yourself; automatically looking for it where it is not intended, and where it is not reasonable to do so. If people, pakeha and Maori cannot talk together without extreme prejudice placed on ordinary thoughts, words and terms of a positive nature, the way forward for better conditions for Maori and Pasifika will proceed at a snail's pace. PC is so last century! Society has absorbed it, and we have to move on with the learnings so far gained about racism and ingrained prejudice and hegemony, to a different level.

              It is not necessary for Maori or anyone to go to university to get a good education and find a vocation. Simbit is continuing with a proud history by Maori of mastery of the education culture. He/she has done that for themself, and doesn't need a pakeha hand to smooth the way or explain his thoughts. Having chosen to submit on the blog, it can be done again, without the need for nursing or explanation by anyone else, pakeha or Maori.

              I suggest Molly that this is a 'good example of unthinking racism' in the form of being patronising of an equal who can speak for himself. I can reply to his point, and understand it, but I think it is part of an approach whose time is finished. It's cards down on the table time, the future is urgent, and honest people who want to protect NZ and the good bi-cultural relationships and protection of environment and an equal place in a thriving country that Maori say they want should be working together to further this now. It is a totally reasonable vision and should not allow hesitant mutterings from old-style 20th century advocates to detain the discussion.

              Don't underestimate Maori, in their travail to hold what they have, and try to find a new way of being and standing, they have to be strong-minded and they are. For instance, the gangs. For instance teaching the young tearaways in Rotorua so they can get their driving licences, and then get a job they have to drive to. Practical stuff, as well as university stuff, where it is ideas that are promoted, taught.

              Many are studying at university to become lawyers, which helps to understand the nature of the culture and advise how to work within its rules, and how to cope when they are broken. Also to further knowledge of cultures, and in the whole spectrum of disciplines. But we need skilled physical workers, such as builders, truck drivers; and it is time that they are held in as high esteem as those with mind-building university degrees. It should not be regarded as a put-down when there is positive talk about getting young Maori and Pasifika into trades. It is good, and to say otherwise is so wrong and warped and prejudiced.

              The gangs – Dec 2018 Black Power and Mongrel Mob are aware of the challenges ahead and have to up their game so they can improve their lives with problems multiplying with Australian additions. https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/107615474/mongrel-mob-black-power-should-join-forces-to-repel-invaders-gang-leader-says

              Lawyer, Annette Sykes here talking about program running re drivers licences in Rotorua she is positive about.

              Hopes driver licences for at-risk youth to lower crashes. From Morning Report, 8:16 am on 12 April 2019

              Listen duration 5′ :22″ There are hopes that a new scheme to help young people get their drivers license wil reduce the number of them who end up in the criminal justice system. Earlier this week the government announced young people in state care, or who receive a benefit, will be eligible free driving lessons. Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter says young drivers who have never held a driver licence were involved in 165 fatal or serious injury crashes, and this scheme will make our roads safer. It will cost around $5 million. Annette Sykes is a Maori lawyer. She talks to Gyles Beckford.https://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/2018690694/hopes-driver-licences-for-at-risk-youth-to-lower-crashes

              • Molly

                " I suggest Molly that this is a 'good example of unthinking racism' in the form of being patronising of an equal who can speak for himself. I can reply to his point, and understand it, but I think it is part of an approach whose time is finished. It's cards down on the table time, the future is urgent, and honest people who want to protect NZ and the good bi-cultural relationships and protection of environment and an equal place in a thriving country that Maori say they want should be working together to further this now. It is a totally reasonable vision and should not allow hesitant mutterings from old-style 20th century advocates to detain the discussion."

                Except, grey exactly the same thought occurred to me when I read the original comment. I was just surprised to see you shut it down so adamantly, and ironically enough, patronisingly.

                Simbit provided an inclusive phrase that could have been used and did not isolate Māori or Pasifika as the only beneficiaries, because in reality the whole community benefits from additional pathways to constructive employment or education: "… your point is to support a diversity of educational pathways? "

                Succinct and to the point. A contrast to the meandering ramble you have provided as evidence to support your "over-sensitive" admonishment.

                Take time to read your own words. They don't encourage "honest" bi-cultural relationships, they are actively shutting down discourse and nuance.

                • greywarshark

                  My point is that the comment about diversity of educational pathways is theoretical and as if out of a paper on possibilities; coming from above, all weekend workshop stuff, and possibly waffle, could have been written in Christine Rankin's time – she liked the big meetings, the staff build-ups, the group-think.

                  I would like to have opportunities for immediate education to prepare for a follow-on immediate course in vocational learning made accessible and in sync with the wishes of young Maori and Pasifika, that finishes up with a diploma for satisfactory attendance and achievement and an immediate job with an apprentice ship to follow.

                  Solid, definite, achievable, and a start for youngsters who haven't done so well with the background, theoretical learning at school. This would be physical as well as mental, making something, learning a lifetime skill (such as carpentery).

                  There are too many barriers to doing things for Maori as people get bogged down in concepts. And who knows whether the people at the end of the projects are getting what they want and need? Academics do all the thinking, and know best. I suggest we see the mess that NZ presents to the objective gaze looking at negative statistics on the young and especially Maori, because we have failed with past systems but are too bound by PC rules to accept anything else. But of course you Molly and others like you, just keep on keeping on; with a low success rate but always hopeful. The Bible has great quotes – the one about being hungry and the kind person gave a stone. When an immediate hand-up is needed, a warm, practical person is better than a cool, theoretical person with helpful words offering best-practice utopia.

                  I have come to think that properly run and supervised charter schools, as long as they are not military schools or run by cult groups or gangs, may offer some good direction for useful education. I was impressed by this project: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11176799

                  Dec 2013 InZone gives poor families opportunity at top school

                  The parents of a group of Maori and Pasifika students have signed over shared guardianship of their sons so they can live in zone for Auckland Grammar….

                  The InZone Education Foundation has completed its third year. The academic performance of its students has silenced the early naysayers, including those who labelled it a recruitment tool for the 1st XV.

                  There are now ambitious expansion plans, including establishing a girls' hostel in zone for Epsom Girls Grammar School, and another for tertiary students.

                  InZone was established after Terrance Wallace, a youth pastor and community worker who was raised in Chicago, visited New Zealand in 2010. The 36-year-old said he came up with the idea after seeing a news item about the underachievement of Maori and Pasifika school kids.

                  There was a doco Dec 2018 which I saw and looked up on the web for more. This is one approach, looking at the higher education, the professional possibilities. But the same is needed for the trades – we know we need skilled knowledgable reliable people to actually do the stuff, they are the glue that keeps everything going. We need them now, with their practicable abilities, honesty, considerateness and we should want to give Maori and Pasifika young men and women that chance.

                  https://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/film/film-reviews/109049688/in-the-zone-documentary-highlights-project-that-should-be-worldfamous-in-new-zealand

                  • Molly

                    Grey, spend more time listening and less talking.

                    Nothing you have subsequently posted is relevant to the initial point Simbit made, and I agreed with.

                    Not only have you misinterpreted everything so far, you continue to double down.

      • greywarshark 6.1.2

        Useless government at anything that isn't theoretical, abstract or modelled on a computer screen.

        Give me a dying man say pollies, and we will give you a peroration of the advantages of living and dying in a modern economy as we stand over his body.

  7. CHCoff 7

    A lot of media is of the (outside?) direction that is opposite to what is good for NZ society and also how it can future contribute internationally to a more stable and prosperous world with it's relatively more within reach potentials of approach.

  8. OnceWasTim 8

    You've nailed it @ Incognito. And that Wiki definition of CC isn't too bad either.

    It's become an inherent part of the Kiwi psyche and it manifests itself in so many ways.

    Probably why we've also allowed ourselves to become so susceptible to various ideologies (such as neo-liberalism) without a fight.

    I'll refrain from a rave but your post reminds me of so many examples of how it all performs – whether it be one sibling going through 'performance anxiety' earlier on in her career along with various memory blockages, to the way we implement immigration policy and appoint senior public servants, to the way we're so anxious to know what overseas visitors think of us (casually or in the media. There's even a piece in Granny tonite commenting on what some bitter old bitch in the UK thinks of JC's latest comments on the Sri Lanka atrocity – Hark at Her!), and to the way some of our yoof of today try to emulate American gang culture, to……..

    In many ways, it's all a bit pathetic really.

  9. BM 9

    Ardern is a media construct.

    • So, the cream of the National Party are continually having their arses handed to them by a mere media construct? That must be very embarrassing for them.

      • BM 9.1.1

        Why would the media attack what they've created?

        Ardern is media gold, has a kid, is young, new media is about vacuous fluff that holds someones attention just long enough to make money.

        Not that I rate Bridges but he cannot compete against that, he just doesn’t have the media money-making capacity that Ardern has.

        The media will not let Bridges or any other Nat leader kill their golden goose, until whoever leads National has the ability to be the next goose.

        • marty mars 9.1.1.1

          Take it to Alex Jones you dingbat BM

        • patricia bremner 9.1.1.2

          So all those Leaders are making money from her just as you say the media is lol lol.

          That one won't fly.

          • BM 9.1.1.2.1

            Are you having a senior moment?

            • Skunk Weed 9.1.1.2.1.1

              National need to pull another rabbit out of the hat like John Key who New Zealanders fell hands over heals in love with when he first appeared on the scene ?

            • patricia bremner 9.1.1.2.1.2

              BM are you ok? Jacinda is no construct and numerous people see her qualities… sorry you are so blind.

        • The Lone Haranguer 9.1.1.3

          BM, the US media created DJTrump all the way to POTUS, and now arent happy about it.

          So yes I do think the media has the power to build up, and would like to think they also have the power to take down.

          However, I suspect we have various journalists/commentators interviewing their own laptops – so until PM Ardern announces shes had enough of being PM Ardern, I will assume that shes "happy being the PM for New Zealand" ( to misquote her current deputy.)

        • Rapunzel 9.1.1.4

          Until "has the ability to"? Well isn't that a reasonable place to start? Why should anyone with the best interests of NZ at the forefront of their minds give the National Party the time of day when all they could offer up is and was the leader they have now – one you say does not have ability. From the day English was given the nudge out and a group of somewhat dubious intentions, if not character, resulted in the choice of a lack-lustre leader, with few apparent viable other contenders, questions needed to be asked. The unusual behaviour of that leader if not from the tapes' language but moreso the recent handing of a staffer and not fronting, or even apparently reading, your own internal inquiry, are all things the National Party needs to answer for and fix before blaming the media and the public and expecting to be the government of NZ.

      • Sacha 9.1.2

        Guess the Nats have previously relied on a holographic construct for support in Epsom, so there’s precedent..
        #Rimmed

    • JanM 9.2

      I doubt whether even you truly believe that, but I suppose that is the latest attack approach, is it? Good luck with that!!

      • BM 9.2.1

        Before becoming leader, rather reluctantly I must say, what did Jacinda Ardern actually do in the nine years Labour was in opposition?

        • Blazer 9.2.1.1

          she studied Zooology,forex gambling and being a faux farmer and decided she would rather represent the downtrodden and address inequality.

        • Shadrach 9.2.1.2

          Not a hell of a lot. But before that, she learned to use the word 'comrade', and work with politicians. And before that, well, fish and chips.

        • michelle 9.2.1.3

          Who fucken cares BM its what she needs to do now that counts

    • OnceWasTim 9.3

      You hope. Some of it might be aided and abetted by media although it's pretty clear her intentions are good. If I were Her, I'd make bloody sure I wasn't surrounded by the likes of you. Unfortunately, I don't like Her chances.

      Alternatively, she'll just trust her instincts, be Herself and see where it all leads

    • greywarshark 9.4

      Bloody Media.

    • DS 9.5

      I actually agree. But John Key was a media construct even more so. On one hand, it's nice to see the boot on the other foot, on the other I still feel incredibly sorry for Andrew Little.

      • patricia bremner 9.5.1

        Ah, but Andrew doesn't. He wanted an improved party doing things for ordinary kiwis, and he helped promote her.

  10. Matthew Hooton 10

    Great post. Lots to think about here.

    • Kat 10.1

      Hey Hoots, interesting to have you aboard, you should be good rail meat from all that humble pie you have had to eat since Jacinda became PM……………….. you can think but don't open your mouth too wide when you on the windward side………

    • Ad 10.2

      If you've finished your degree, you could always come and test your ideas in posts here.

    • tc 10.3

      More material for you to work with eh Matty.

      • Muttonbird 10.3.1

        I see Matt has taken time out from the long fight to ensure his kids don't mix with poor people at school.

  11. Jum 11

    Idyits, the lotta ya; Listener's handlers are already priming up Sam Johnson as the next wonderboy for nats. He has political leanings to stand for nats and it won't be about helping people this time; it'll be about helpin' himself. That's what being a nat is. The sad thing is, whatever was ever good about the lad will be knocked outa him. But anyone who wants what nats stand for has a very low value counter.

  12. mac1 12

    It seems that Ardern can lead the world from here, with her announcement today that together with France we will lead the way with moderating social media intrusion into our lives when it promotes violence and extremism.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/112224153/new-zealand-and-france-join-forces-to-tackle-terrorism-and-violence-on-social-media

    Being a PM of a small country with a tradition of sometimes going against the norm can be a great thing.

    Savage's government was only one of two IIRC which actually condemned in the League of Nations Italy's invasion of Ethiopia. Clark's government refused to join the Coalition of the Willing. Kirk's government sent a warship to protest peacefully French bomb tests. Lange pointed out the folly of nuclear mutual and assured destruction. All of this against the trend of the world's leadership.

    The other point about Ardern's leadership is that it is not ego-driven and about self-promotion, but about compassion, empathy and consideration for the good she can do for others. She took on leadership with proper reluctance.

    Bigger, better jobs for the boys is not in that thinking.

    The post asks a very good question about motivation and proper attainment. That Ardern took on leadership with proper reluctance says volumes about her motivation and what really are her goals. And maybe also about how she will go about attaining them.

    • Mark 12.1

      'lead the world'? What the fuck – because of some social media ban?

      For heavens sake, she has a sprog, puts on a headscarf and shes a great leader.

      She can't build houses, I've never heard her talk about the economy or world affairs with anything but a few soundbites, and she is not evidence informed with a proper understanding of numbers.

      Ardern is a self-promoting attention seeking virtue signalling non-entity

  13. michelle 13

    who said kindness wont get us anywhere it will we just need to keep at it and stop being nasty , selfish and greedy

    • Mark 13.1

      oh for fucks sake, yeah right, so fake 'kindness' will grow the economy, make us a top scientific and industrial and economic powerhouse etc?

      If that was the case what about all those poor buggers in the third world —or are they simply 'nasty, selfish, and greedy'

      The most effective leaders in the world today are the likes of Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin, who really are growing their economies and making the lives of their people, and many people around the world better.

      I would rather have an asshole who is effective in charge and build some damn houses, say, than a virtue signalling school girl in a headscarf like the one we have.

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