Open mike 28/12/2023

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 28th, 2023 - 85 comments
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Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

85 comments on “Open mike 28/12/2023 ”

  1. Robert Guyton 1

    What was the intention here?

    It seems the stupidest of actions from the NACTFirst Government.

    "The protests on the opening of the 54th Parliament was a signal to the new government.

    While Luxon said the protests were “unfair” given they had been in power only a week, the campaign trail leading up to the election had been months, and the coalition parties of the new government have failed to read the room, so to speak.

    The new government has failed to read the world as well; it failed to read or ignored the importance many Māori place upon language, culture, and identity.

    Given our history, this is rather alarming."

    • Belladonna 1.1

      It seems the stupidest of actions from the NACTFirst Government.

      Absolutely designed to appeal to their core base of support.

      I'd say absolutely a coldly and clearly considered action. Symbolic (so no pragmatic issues to get in the way – unlike (for example) unwinding 3 waters).

      And a strong signal to their base support that they absolutely did mean the things they campaigned on. Probably more important for them than 'reading the world' (whatever that means to Bidois).

      The 'Maori only' names for Government departments has been deeply unpopular with a big chunk of the electorate. Not just elderly pakeha (as is often stated).

      [NB: I say Maori only – as it has frequently defaulted to being used as the only name of the department used or reported on]

      • Incognito 1.1.1

        The ‘Maori only’ names for Government departments has been deeply unpopular with a big chunk of the electorate. Not just elderly pakeha (as is often stated).

        You’re spreading fact-free, context-less, and nuance-free NACTF talking points and propaganda. Back it up with some evidence and put some (real) effort into it.

        • Terry

          Belladonna is certainly not wrong. Many people have no idea what the Te reo name of certain government departments are. These are not bad people, this is something that doesn’t come into their world.

          So a story. The industry I work in deals a lot with customers, we speak with them online and over the phone. We also deal with and refer customers to government departments.

          All calls and online interactions with our customers are recorded, and a certain percentage of interactions are reviewed by auditors. This is to ensure compliance with government regulations, the safety and security of the customers personal information and their banking etc.

          Some bright spark within the team that audits customer interactions decided to start “failing” interactions if the banker didn’t use the Maori name for a government department, They even went so far as failing an interaction because the banker used the English name for the IRD, after the customer asked for clarification after being referred to Te Tarri Take (customer had a tax issue) As the manager of the business unit, I now insist that all failed interactions are referred to either myself or my assistant for review. Prior to this only a compliance breach or an interaction that could result in disciplinary action would come to my attention.

          Anyway back to the call where the customer wanted clarification on about Te Tari Takki. The auditor said that we shouldn’t tolerate customers who are “racist”, even though we have a moral and legal obligation to assist all customers regardless of their ethnicity, gender, sexuality, disability, political affiliation.

          • Incognito

            Belladonna is certainly not wrong. [my italics]

            Who knows? She didn’t provide any context or factual support to back-up her RW talking points. Framing it as a binary of being wrong vs. being right (lower case) is not helpful either. What makes you so certain about it?

            Your story of anecdata of customer communications is avoiding the issue raised here too.

            Do you and your company disagree with those moral and legal obligations or with the auditor’s (or was it auditors’?) interpretation?

            BTW, was your misspelling twice of Te Tari Taake intentional?

            These are not bad people, this is something that doesn’t come into their world.

            This is a classic straw man argument. I’d have thought that as a manager of a business unit you’d recognise and avoid such a construct. Moreover, something that doesn’t come into my world is not “deeply unpopular” by default; it’s an odd argument that makes you look evasive & defensive.

            • Terry

              Incognito, I personally take my legal and moral obligations to our customers seriously, so does my employer. If a customer has been exited from the business, we still hold personal information and them, and they are entitled to access it for at least seven years, if not longer. I expect that my staff treat customers with respect and dignity, at all times. Even those customers who have been exited from the business because of abuse/harassment of staff are to be treated with respect and dignity.

              It is not our place to judge customers because they are rich or poor, have a speech impediment or not. And it is certainly not our responsibility place to judge someone for their lack of ability in speaking English or te reo, or any other language. It’s also not our place to judge or correct their spelling, or how they pronounce words. Doing this BTW is a sure fire way for a interaction to head south leading to an satisfactory interaction.

              No I haven’t misspelled any word, either intentionally nor unintentionally. If you decide to spell a word differently to me, & feel the desire to comment on how I spell, or pronounce a word, then that is up to you. However from my experience, unless you’re in a training session with someone, jumping in and “correcting” someone is not usually constructive, unless of course you know the person well enough to deliver the message in a way that person will take onboard with out feeling belittled. Not everyone is as pedantic as others are about such things. What is important to you, is not necessarily important to someone else, this is genuinely not an issue, except to insufferable busybodies who have an urge to police others.

              As for changing the names of government agencies to “English first”, I don’t ever recall any genuine discussion about changing the name of government agencies to “te reo” first. But I do recall that people were”denounced” if they didn’t agree with it. Essentially the current government is reverting back to what the general population understands.

              There are many interesting things about where I work. We talk all day to customers over the phone, we usually lead the conversation, so we can resolve the issues. But often we get a sense of the real person, in a way that we don’t when that same person comes into a branch and is in public. What often strikes me is the genuine decency of the vast majority of people. They are all trying to live their lives, look after their families, protect what little money they have and get some enjoyment from their had lives and families. All they really need is to be listened to (even when they are wrong), feel they have been understood, are valued, and to have their issues addressed and resolved.

              Most people probably don’t mind about government agencies having a te reo name, however people need to know or understand who the te reo name refers to. Generally speaking people don’t, & it’s something in my job that I hear everyday. If we have to advise the the customer that they must go to a government department called “te tari taki” and the customer doesn’t know who or what that is, then what is the point of the name change? This is then compounded by self appointed “cultural police” who object when our staff clarify to customers what the customer needs to do, to ensure that the customer fully understands what the customer needs to do to resolve their issues.

              BTW, I have come across a customer interaction that was marked down, because the staff member referred to an elderly customer’s husband as the “customers husband” and not “customers partner”.

              My employer has no policy on using te reo first and only when referring to government. It is however policy that we have an obligation to the customer, it is our obligation to ensure that the customer understands what we require them to do.

              Unfortunately all large organisations have little cliques that from time to time gain de facto authority and then become a law unto themselves. So in this case several auditors see themselves as being at the forefront of “cultural change”. I have remained them that this is not what they are employed to do.

              • Robert Guyton

                " I don’t ever recall any genuine discussion about changing the name of government agencies to “te reo” first. "

                Perhaps you simply missed it.

                In any case, the agencies themselves were surely involved in that discussion with regard their own name.

                Hardly a matter for public input, I'd have thought.

                • Terry

                  Robert, I've been around long enough to have seen different cliques (from all political sides) talking amongst themselves, coming to a conclusion or decision and then believing that they are right and speak for us all. These people are then firstly horrified, then terribly insulted, that "others" can have a different opinion.

                  The renaming of government agencies should, in my opinion, be a matter for public discussion. These government agencies exist for the benefit of all citizens, not just a select few who are on the inside. What is the point if we do not have buy in by the citizens? We then get resistance, dissatisfaction from the public, and the change achieves nothing. The lRD, or ministry of health do not improve their services due to the name change. All that happens is that people have no idea what the newly named government agency is. This is something we in my business hear every day, and it's not old white people, most people who we refer to kianga ora (for first home assistance) are young, almost always we have to tell them that kianga ora was housing NZ, and no, it's not just for maori.

                  Surely the intention with any change is to bring people with you. To do other wise just causes resentment. People vote, and they have the freedom to vote for whomever they wish. As the left especially labour found to their cost.

                  All government agencies should have the name primarily in english, by all means have a secondary te Reo name. The majority of people in this country have little understanding of te Reo, even young people just out of high school. From my experience te Reo is of little importance to most people, but they may not feel comfortable saying this to you. That then becomes a problem.

                  BTW, I'm often involved with interviewing new employees. This time of year we take on young people, fresh out of high school. Throughout the year I will have several confidential 1 on 1's with these new employees. My aim is to understand their progress, and to ensure that they know I value their contribution, and how I can assist with their future. I also become aware of problems that I would not normally be aware of. Due to this process I get a good understanding of what is important to younger people. I've come to the conclusion that they are no different than we were back in the 80's.

                  Ignore the people at your peril, if they don't feel safe telling you what they really feel, they will tell you what they believe you what to hear. We spend 10's of millions on systems (the decision was way above my pay grade) that don't work, employees can't use, they then revert to the old system, which does the job, even though it's old-fashioned and no longer hip.

                  My old mentor once told me that unless it is necessary to change, it is necessary not to change. We risk spending huge sums of money, with nothing but a superficial appearance that things have changed. While we as managers feel a warm glow of pride of achievement, the employees leave work on a Friday and go to the pub, and complain that management are useless and incompetent. I fully appreciate that employees will always complain about us, but it's dangerous when they are right.

                  The same happens in politics, the voters are always right, even when you or I think or believe that they are wrong.

                  Ignore them at your peril.

                  • David

                    “What the government actually does is way more important than what Government Departments are called.”

                    Boris Sokratov makes a tongue in cheek argument that “Māori names should be immediately removed from all government departments” precisely because what they are doing is so negatively perceived.


                  • Incognito

                    You seem have a problem with staying in-focus and tend to drift into pet peeves and the likes.

                    TS is a safe and inclusive public forum aka blog site for robust debate. Commenters bring their views & opinions here to deliberate. Views & opinions, and all the associated feelings & emotions, have a foundation in reality and this reality is a shared (aka common) discernible one.

                    Please don’t imply that te reo and Māori culture, history and heritage are some kind of fashionable trend, a fad, of “a superficial appearance” that’s hip and the good ole colonial system is the ever-reliable old system that people revert to because (!) it “does the job”.

                    We’re talking about NZ society here, not about (disgruntled?) employees letting off steam in the pub on a Friday or school leavers having confidential one-on-one evaluation/performance talks with a much more senior manager who’s got fixed & firm personal ideas about how things used to be (in the 80s?) and how they should be again, in society, in/with government, and within his organisation.

                    • Terry

                      Incognito, I have no problem staying focused, you may however be lacking in the ability to keep up. I will put that down to the time of year, presumably you are still recovering from the Xmas festivities.

                      It's not uncommon for cliques to form, and to adopt behaviours, attitudes, likes and dislikes to make themselves looking good. This is obvious to everyone, except those who belong to those cliques. They are the ones being superficial. In the case of using te Reo as a status symbol, these people lessen the mana of the language.

                      All employees will be disgruntled with their employers. Just like all citizens will be disgruntled with the current government and the political system. You can't please all of the people all of the time. Disgruntled employees, and disgruntled citizens, are what society is made up of. Everyone is disgruntled if they do not adhere to your ideology. You may dismiss them, but that is a mistake.

                      We all have a responsibility to the community we live in. As we all move along on our journey of life, we gain experience, good, bad & neutral. From a certain age, as a grown adult, it is our responsibility to guide those younger than ourselves, especially when we have gained a position of responsibility, such as a manager who is responsible for young adults, or a parent with children, and a younger brother who has a nephew or niece. Responsibilities should not be taken lightly, nor too seriously, those who are starting their journey into adulthood do need guidance, they also need the freedom to make mistakes and to learn from them.

                      I had a mentor who flew Lancaster bombers in WW2, he had some amazing stories from the war, though mostly about english pubs, good mates & flying. He certainly didn't understand my taste in rock music, or casual clothes, or politics. But his guidance, support and encouragement were of the upmost value to me. As I have grown older, I find strength in the advice I received from my elders. It is now my time to be a mentor to those who are younger to me.

                      Everything and nothing has changed when I compare high school leavers of today, with what we were back in the '80's, except the music and fashion. Social media didn't exist in the form it is today, but ideas still traveled around the world.

                      One thing that has changed is how we manage, train & retain staff. A lot of what we do now has been due to the mistakes people of my generation were subjected to when we were young. We no longer tolerate bullying, sexual harrisment or many other forms of discrimination in the workplace. Although it may happen, I for one will not tolerate it.

                  • Pat

                    Voters are indeed always right…especially so when they are not.

                    The alternatives do not bear consideration.

                    • Incognito

                      …especially so when they are not.

                      Care to elaborate?

                      The alternatives do not bear consideration.

                      What alternatives and why should they not be considered, not any of them?

                    • Pat

                      Politics is subjective…or a matter of opinion if you prefer.

                      The important point of a democracy is that the members of a society who did not support the resulting government at the ballot box are wise enough to understand that despite that fact they are still better off than if they had no ability to participate in the selection of the policies that will govern their (and theirs) lives.

                      The first point flows in to the second….what other system provides the opportunity to remove an administration that the majority of a society believe are not acting in the interests of that society short of violence?

                      If you can identify one it may warrant consideration, but (subjectively) I cannot.

                  • Robert Guyton

                    When those government agencies you cite, Terry, chose their original English names, did they consult with the public?

                    If not, why not?

              • Incognito

                The first two paragraphs were virtue signalling and they did not answer the question about the auditing.

                You spelled the same words differently each time and neither case was the spelling as used on the official website (Inland Revenue – Te Tari Taake; Given the tone and content of your comments, this raised the possibility of micro-aggression and from your latest reaction, this sense of hidden hostility has got stronger.

                I don’t know about an official edict to change government names to te reo first and certainly not to “ 'Maori only' names” (according to Belladonna, who’s “certainly not wrong”, according to you) and you may have to do some research to support this before you jump to conclusions, as it were. So, people were “denounced” [were those scare quotes?] by people when disagreeing!? That’s smoke & mirrors stuff right there.

                The next paragraph is more virtue signalling, both personal and corporate.

                The following paragraph is a bunch of generalisations and hand waving. I take it that the legally required auditors are not the same as those “self appointed “cultural police” “ that you conjured up. As does Belladonna, you make vague statements as if they’re well-known facts and common sense, i.e., commonly accepted ‘truths’. This is the problem that both of you seem to wilfully ignore or deny.

                Your last three paragraphs are irrelevant, repetitive, and suggest that you have problems at/with work-related stuff; talk to your HR department (it may have a different name in your organisation).

                • Terry

                  Incognito, I have not made any spelling mistakes. If you believe that I have, then that is okay with me. You can believe that the earth is flat if you do desire, it is of no concern to me what you believe. You are not at that stage in your life.

                  It is my personal opinion that people who focus too much on things like spelling, grammar or the correct pronunciation of words are in more dire need of a b@!w job than any white man history. (Credit to Robin Williams). If you’re not white, or male, I apologise to you. But you may have spent way too much time around some straight ass while dudes. You need to learn to look deeper and to seek to understand without judgement.

                  May I suggest you partake in some really good “electric puha” you may find the experience mind expanding and as a result you may understand the world around differently. Failing that, I suggest you go out into the world, experience real life with real people. Experience the ups and downs, failures and successes. Know what it is like to crash from on high, and then claw your way back, inch by inch, learning from your failures and heartbreaks along the way.

                  I’m bored with you, you have neither the wit or intelligence to interest me. You obviously are far too young and inexperienced with life. This is not your fault. When you are young you get to the stage where you need to strike out on your own, and to experience life. I wish you all the best. I have little doubt that in the future, when you have learned about life you will become interesting, and much less boring.

                  In the meantime you seriously need to get laid, man or woman, maybe both. Being stoned may also help you.

                  [Please correct your email in your next comment, thanks – Incognito]

                  • Incognito

                    Mod note

                  • Incognito

                    Since you swiped left, we won’t get laid crying

                    Ignoring the passive-aggressive parts, thank you so much for your wonderful advice.

                    Tonight, I’ll discuss it with my parsnip over a hot coco.

        • Barfly

          Belladonna and I are usually opposing in our views but I agree with her on this.

          • Incognito

            I don’t doubt that other people share the same feeling and agree with the same general vibe. But that wasn’t the point of my comment. And it really isn’t hard at all to argue from one corner and find like-minded people, Social Media are great for that, BTW – the ‘likes’ are designed for that and to encourage it.

            • Descendant Of Smith

              I guess time will tell whether these and other people who supported having names in Te Reo meant what they said at the time and whether the current government changes those people's position and views.


              On the other hand there is also this perspective.

              We see a warping of te reo Maori in these circumstances – a negating of its spiritual character in order to refer to more tangible things. “Whakapapa” in those instances merely refers to genealogy, “whanau” to human family.


            • Barfly

              When I'm sitting on an Auckland AT bus most of the time there is audio going of the next stop coming – first stated in Maori and then English IMO 90% of the people on the bus have no idea what the message in Maori is. I imagine some of that % may be irratated by this – I myself regard it as a sign of the times and that I've gotten old but I wouldn't be surprised if many felt like they were being force fed.

              • Incognito

                I also can imagine that some people on the bus might sometimes get irritated at the audio in te reo first and English second or the message in te reo at all. But we’re still firmly stuck in social media and talkback reckons.

                • Barfly

                  Well as we all love analogies think of it as a TV that you have to watch but it only plays Maori TV and you don't understand the language and you are being compelled to watch it because some woke individual has decided that it's neccessary for the 'good' of society.

                  • Incognito

                    Some analogies are useful, to make a point. This one isn’t.

                    Resorting to lazy labels often means that your point is weak or worse.

                    • Terry

                      Ignoring or dismissing what people think or say because they do not confirm to your worldview is a mistake. Sometimes going through the discomfort of listening to viewpoints that challenge yours can be a important step in your growth and development.

                      If you have a mind to become a politician, you ignore the people at your peril. They don’t appreciate being dismissed or as one US presidential candidate did , she referred to a group the people as “deplorables”. If you do this you will rightly lose respect.

                    • weka []

                      please fix your email address on your next comment so it doesn’t get caught in Spam.

                    • Incognito []

                      Ignore the No Fire signs in the haystack at your peril when you light a match to find your way out of your self-constructed hay-maze chased by imaginary straw men of your own making. Lay off the stuff for a while.

                  • Robert Guyton

                    "a TV that you have to watch"

                    Like something from “A Clockwork Orange" you mean?

        • Belladonna

          Robert asked "what were they thinking" – "they" in this context being ACT/NZF/National.

          Of course the response illustrates their talking points!

          If it was a rhetorical question – and there is no actual interest in what the government's reasoning might be – then feel free to scroll on by.

          • Incognito

            When you repeat RW talking points without any critical commentary and/or correction and without making it clear that you don’t agree with those points then the default assumption is that you do agree with them and that you intentionally repeat them here on TS. In which case scrolling on is not even a matter of an implicit agree-to-disagree but a failure to push back on the RW talking points and on the commenting behaviour.

            If you wanted to gaslight people here then you couldn’t have done a better job angry

      • Drowsy M. Kram 1.1.2

        The 'Maori only' names for Government departments has been deeply unpopular with a big chunk of the electorate. Not just elderly pakeha (as is often stated).

        Even Luxon propagated the idea of "older people" in a misery of "te reo confusion".

        When I have older people in particular, who can’t tell the difference between Te Whatu Ora, Waka Kotahi or Te Pūkenga, that’s a problem,” he [Luxon] said.

        Weeks-old government dubbed ‘anti-Māori’ as culture wars rage in New Zealand
        Richard Shaw, a professor of politics at New Zealand’s Massey University, described Luxon’s government as “the most explicitly anti-Māori government” he could remember.

        This is the first government that I can recall which has quite explicitly said, ‘we’ll have less of that,’ not ‘we’ll have more of it,” said Shaw.

        So, this really is an awkward, unsettled moment.

        Seems politically productive (still!) to stir the anti-Māori pot in Aotearoa NZ sad
        If not for Luxon, then maybe for Seymour, and certainly for Peters.

        Wasn't aware that "'Maori only' names" was a thing (policy?) for govt depts, but whether or not it was/is, it would be interesting to try to pin down why these names have "been deeply unpopular with a big chunk of the electorate."

        Confusion? Fear? Racism? Obvious regressive yearning for more 'convenient' times? Ah, for the days when an incoming National govt would legislate to change "New Zealand Day" to "Waitangi Day" – now that was a name change.

        The concept of a national day needed time to take root. It was not to be given this by the National government that took office at the end of 1975. The Waitangi Day Act 1976 reinstated the name Waitangi Day.

        • Robert Guyton

          "The arbitrary acts of using English first or removing Māori names function as a form of symbolic violence towards all those who have taken up learning te reo Māori, but particularly towards our mokopuna, tamariki and rangatahi within kōhanga, kura kaupapa and whare kura and to all our kaumātua and kuia who have fought for so long for the revival of the language."

          • Belladonna

            So was it "symbolic violence" for the Departments to be re-branded with Te reo names – and then those names used predominantly?

            After all, if it's 'violence' one way, then it's surely 'violence' the other.

            This kind of language is deeply divisive.

            And, if the Left don't see it – then the hole they dig for themselves becomes even deeper.

            • Incognito

              It’s deeply disingenuous to ignore the huge power imbalance in all of this, and in culture wars in general. English and the so-called English (aka colonial), or should I say British, culture was never under any real threat here in New Zealand.

              • Belladonna

                English and the so-called English (aka colonial), or should I say British, culture was never under any real threat here in New Zealand.

                That is your view. And it may even be correct. However, there are elements of society which deeply disagree with you, and did, indeed, feel under threat.

                Divisive language e.g. characterizing the action as "symbolic violence" makes the separation worse, and closes out any opportunity to negotiate mutually acceptable outcomes.

                • Chess Player

                  I don't think anyone is remotely interested in an "opportunity to negotiate mutually acceptable outcomes"…

                  That would mean that people ended up happy, and then there would be no need for political parties.

                  • Belladonna

                    Sad, but probably true.

                  • Incognito

                    I don't think anyone is remotely interested in an "opportunity to negotiate mutually acceptable outcomes"…

                    Given that you’re commenting here on TS, this claim is absolutely, categorically, and demonstratively incorrect and untrue. In fact, if you had any inkling of NZ politics or politics at all then you’d not made such a bizarre assertion. Thus, your comment implies that you’re projecting, at best …

                    That would mean that people ended up happy, and then there would be no need for political parties.

                    Spare us from your dopey straw men.

                • Incognito

                  That is your view. And it may even be correct.

                  Here we go again. Where do you stand on this? Can you support your view with facts, data, evidence, anything at all, except a vibe and a feeling??

                  However, there are elements of society which deeply disagree with you, and did, indeed, feel under threat.

                  A feeling doesn’t make it real, as in factual. Repeating it often and loudly enforces/reinforces the feeling but doesn’t make it real either. Manufacturing discontent isn’t hard. Further, who/where/what are those “elements”? Are they the same as that “big chunk of the electorate” that you mentioned before?

                  On the one hand, you gladly (it seems) acknowledge the ‘deep feelings’ of some people (or ‘elements of society’, whatever that means), yet on the other hand, you argue strongly (it seems) against people who feel similarly (?) strong about these actions to call it “symbolic violence”. Yet, you go to great lengths to avoid the appearance of taking sides or a position at all!? At the same time, you draw rather strong conclusions from a relatively innocuous academic term. I’d call that over-reaching.

                  BTW, I’d love to hear your alternative for “symbolic violence”, if you have any. What do you think captures the essence/meaning of it best, in the given context?

                  • Belladonna

                    My view isn't particularly important, I was responding to the initial "what were they (as in the government) thinking…..

                    However, IMO, renaming agencies doesn't really matter much, either way. I will admit to a slight preference for English – but it's not a hill I'd want to die on.

                    What the government actually does is way more important than what Government Departments are called.

                    But I'm not the core constituency which the Government is appealing to with this policy.

                    I acknowledge that some people (on both sides) feel strongly about the issue. Please note the word feel this is all about the way people feel, rather than a 'factual' approach. If you are hoping for an entirely fact-based approach to political policy in NZ, you are doomed to frustration.

                    Ad has already provided a link to surveys which show a substantial part of the electorate (49%) support English names for Government departments. However, here is the link again.

                    49% want government departments to be known by their English name = 1.9x more than the 26% who don’t.


                    But I don't find divisive language to be a helpful approach. It deepens differences, rather than finds a way forward (of course, that may be the intent).

                    Please note that many Maori were already …. critical… of Te Reo names for Government Departments.


                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      Please note that many Maori were already …. critical… of Te Reo names for Government Departments.

                      How "many Maori"? Was the 2020 opinion piece that you linked to, critical of te Reo Māori names per se? Reads more like a broad critique of (perceived) patronising tokenism – Smale doesn't strike me as someone who would support anti-Māori (names) legislation.

                      If the state wants a few Māori words that it wants to adopt, start with the second article of the Māori version of the Treaty of Waitangi. There’s a big Māori phrase in there that the Crown has always tried to avoid – Tino Rangatiratanga. Right now that concept might be more relevant than ever, not just for Māori but for the country as a whole as we face an uncertain future. The political, economic and environmental trends we’ve slavishly followed for decades have been exposed as not only redundant but actually dangerous.

                      Let’s start a conversation about what Tino Rangatiratanga might mean now instead of patronising attempts to use Māori language to continue denying it.

                      If I made a short list of the "many Māori" "already …. critical… of Te Reo names for Government Departments", Peters and Seymour would be right up there. Not sure about Health Minister CigaReti – he's been (strangely?) silent about this 'transformative' distraction.

                      Incoming Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters blasts te reo Māori names for government departments
                      [24 Nov 2023]

                      Election 2023: Wild Christopher Luxon, David Seymour, Winston Peters press conference begins reign of historic Government [24 Nov 2023]
                      There are transformative changes to Treaty interpretation and te reo Māori use, including removing the Māori names of government departments and requiring them to communicate in English.

                      "We will no longer be treating people differently based on ethnicity as a starting point, we will be focusing public services on need," said Seymour.

                      And how might our deputy PM-to-be react to surgeon Ronald's comments? Maybe he'd ask for a less progressive second opinion.

                      Maxine Ronald: Why do we have to keep explaining the ethnicity gap? [25 June 2023]
                      We know that ethnicity, by itself, is an independent risk factor for poor health outcomes.

                      Hope Luxon's CEO experience equipped him with skills to pilot NZ away from the turbulence of racial enmity, assuming that's something he wants to avoid. But maybe our new government’s navigation options are limited to regressive legislation, given all those lovely tax cuts. Time will tell.

                      Please note the word feel this is all about the way people feel…

                      Noted, and it seems you and Maipi-Clarke are of like mind on this.

                      In Rightward Shift, New Zealand Reconsiders Pro-Māori Policies [NY Times; 16 Dec 2023]
                      The nation has long been lauded for trying to do right by its Indigenous people, but a new government may force a reckoning of Māori affairs.

                      In only a couple of weeks, in only 14 days, this government has attacked my whole world from every corner,” she [Maipi-Clarke] said, listing its proposed changes to Māori affairs. “How can I not take anything personally when it feels like these policies were made about me?

                    • Incognito

                      My view isn't particularly important, … [my italics]

                      … feel free to scroll on by.

                      When you comment here, your view is important and how you argue for it.

                      When you hide behind RW talking points, you can expect to be called out.

                      When you repeat (without quotes!) RW assertions without criticism, you open yourself to the missing criticism.

                      When you put up binaries/false dichotomies, as you just did again, you will be called out because it is poor debating.

                      And when you repeat your dislike of ‘divisive language’ without providing a suitable alternative you’re simply complaining for the sake of it and not being constructive.

                      Of course, some Māori would object to ‘colonising’ their language. However, it appears that some of those objectors would rather go a lot further in adopting te reo and their way of thinking. As always, a critic’s job is only half done if they don’t provide an alternative or possible solution – the same applies to participating in robust debate here on TS. Obviously, we here are interested in the government’s thinking/reasoning and its PR spin and persuasive arguments, language, and narrative. However, instead of following those party lines, we are even more interested in chipping our own path of deliberation and finding ways forward. At least some of us here are but you don’t seem to be so sure, are you?

                    • Robert Guyton

                      "it's not a hill I'd want to die on."

                      Or puke.

            • Robert Guyton

              "After all, if it's 'violence' one way, then it's surely 'violence' the other."

              Yeah. Someone rips out all the flowers in a flower bed in a park – violence!

              Someone sows the empty bed with flower seeds in response – violence!


              • Incognito

                Flower power and white flags are deeply offensive and symbolic acts of violence and micro-aggression. Ban poppies!

              • Belladonna

                The actual equivalence would be: Someone rips out all of the flowers and plants their own = violence. The next person rips out all of the new flowers and replants = violence.

                Same actions on both sides. Equally abhorrent to the onlooker who just wants nice flowers, and not have to pay the bills for continuous replanting.

                • Robert Guyton

                  In deciding on whether or not to add a Māori title to the English one we'd been used to using, our organisation consulted with Manawhenua first, accepted their suggestion, then ran with the suggestion. Now we have both. We didn't feel we needed to hold a referendum, nor put the proposal out for public consultation – in reality, not "ripping up the flowers", nor "violence".

                  You've over-egged you pudding, imo.

                  • Incognito

                    Ironically, BD’s attempt at equivalence was a false equivalence in its own right because it was a false equivalence from the outset – a double negative, false-false. She’s beaten more shit out of the pudding than a fan ever could – it is metaphorical violence.

        • Belladonna

          49% of respondents wanted English names in this survey. It beggars belief that they were all elderly pakeha.

          49% want government departments to be known by their English name = 1.9x more than the 26% who don’t.

          • Drowsy M. Kram

            49% of respondents wanted English names in this survey. It beggars belief that they were all elderly pakeha.

            Who is asserting "that they were all elderly pakeha"? That would be a nonsense.

            Imho, it would be interesting to pin down why Māori names have "been deeply unpopular with a big chunk of the electorate" – I know my father doesn't like hearing te reo, but you can't please (or fool) everyone, at least not all the time.

            Support for the use of te reo Māori increased since 2018. The 2021 data showed:

            • 62 percent (up from 57 percent) of people agreed or strongly agreed that te reo Māori should be a core subject in primary schools
            • 57 percent (up from 53 percent) agreed or strongly agreed that the government should encourage and support the use of te reo Māori in everyday situations
            • 56 percent (up from 51 percent) agreed or strongly agreed that signage should be in both te reo Māori and English
            • 44 percent (up from 39 percent) agreed or strongly agreed that it would be good if all people living in New Zealand spoke te reo Māori and English.

            Some Kiwis believe these trends are positive – ka haere tonu te tautohetohe.

          • Robert Guyton

            49% = elderly pakeha + younger would-be-elderly pakeha.


      • Ad 1.1.3

        Only Waka Kotahi registers in the public according to polls taken on the matter (they've had 15 years to bed it in).

        National are simply in full continuity with Labour trashing its pro-Maori policies months before the election. It is absolutely clear that this government have massive public support for it.

        Neither of them will be given an inch at Waitangi, and nor should they.

        But then once Waitangi Day is done, it's back to delivering good policy for all.

        • Drowsy M. Kram

          If public support for trashing pro-Māori policies is 'massive', then 'the public' has lost it big time, imho. But hey, it's an effective distraction, as others have observed.

          • aj

            As Brian Cadogan so clearly observed some weeks ago, the Te Reo push back comes from the 'perpetually outraged'

            I can't see these being more than 20% but increasing.

            • Incognito

              Indeed, eroding support for te reo in the public sphere and simultaneously normalising the opposite so that those RW talking points and spreading & repeating them becomes normative, even here on TS. This is not [through] deliberation but [through] persuasion – it doesn’t bode well for any public debate on the Treaty in the push for a referendum.

        • Patricia Bremner

          Ad …What good Policy is being delivered?

          • Robert Guyton

            Ad's winding us up.

          • Ad

            Right question Patricia.

            National believe they can deliver all relevant public services without specific ethnic distinction, and give better results than the previous government.

            From social welfare 35% of population, to injury and hospital use, to prisons 52% of total, to renting 85% , lifespan negative 7 years against others, gang membership 77% Maori, the disproportionate needs of Maori are so clear. National will need amazing delivery results to show that not targeting Maori was the right policy idea.

        • Pat

          Such is democracy….and anyone is able to propose and seek support for an alternative (within a democracy, maybe not so much under an alternative).

      • Robert Guyton 1.1.4

        Their core base?

        A few dim-wits, imo.

        • Belladonna

          49% of respondents – in the survey that Ad linked. They may be dim-wits – but there are hardly just a few of them.

    • SPC 1.2

      The social conservatives have used identity politics to distract from wealth inequality since the extension of the franchise to all citizens.

      Thus they cite liberals doing it, as a progressive threat to an established social and cultural privilege.

      Apparently it is some sort of alliance of privilege, religion heritage and culture God and imperial capital mammon – that is ages old. Pre democratic era hierarchy under God, to the manor born Tory'ism and new world order Catholicism in white race nation Protestant Christian dominionism lockstep.

      • Descendant Of Smith 1.2.1

        This is why I don't get people blaming the left for this.

        In the 90's I met a very well-off women who was talking about "those sluts on DPB". Within the same conversation she then spoke about her son on his trip around Europe sowing his wild oats before coming home to get married. Even spoke of his need to learn and practice before marriage so he could be a proper husband.

        No sense of contradiction at all.

        The rules they have for themselves versus the rules they (try to) impose on the working class are chalk and cheese. Their moral standards are the emperor's new clothes – always have been. If you have money rules don't apply e.g. monogamy, tax evasion, cash jobs, etc.

        I'm pretty sure their objection to sole parents is more that they are not in the workforce working for a pittance more than anything else.

    • adam 1.3

      When you ignore facts all you get is emotions. And they are never to be trusted as the soul sauce, if its politics.

      Boomer threw a fire cracker at that the day before Christmas. Was a joy to read if you have not.

  2. tc 2

    Divide, distract whenever possible. Biggest bang for the buck was going at te reo, cyclists and walkers etc straight out of the blocks.

    The best social division money can buy. Sorry can this be moved under Robert at 1.

    • Incognito 2.1

      I can ‘move’ it if you reply to Robert @ 1 with a placeholder reply comment. Otherwise I cannot ‘move’ it for you. Alternatively, you copy & paste your own comment (i.e., the one I’m replying to, currently @ 2) in a reply to Robert @ 1, which then effectively becomes a duplicate comment, and I’ll then delete this comment (currently @ 2).

  3. bwaghorn 3

    Morgan Godfrey equates willis' short sighted canceling of the ferries to muldoons criminal canceling of labours super scheme!

    And doe a great job of airing national s lurch to the right.

    • Ad 3.1

      Wait for the first winter crossing and ferry engine failure. That gets sheeted straight to Willis.

      It will take until July for the shine to come off this government, but it will.

      • Adrian 3.1.1

        Shit doesnt shine.

      • Robert Guyton 3.1.2

        Hoping for a catastrophe?

        A ferry sinking?

        A typhoon/hurricane/drought catastrophe to prove our point?

        Is that where we Lefties have landed?


      • Belladonna 3.1.3

        No new ferries planned to be delivered until 2026 (under the cancelled scheme)

        Any disasters before that date will be simply linked to the poor performance of the previous Labour government.

        [NB: apparently it's necessary for some commentators to understand that I'm predicting the government's response, not agreeing with it]

  4. Ffloyd 4

    According to young visitors we had the other day this charade of a Govt won’t last until next Christmas. They were very unimpressed with all the repeal under urgency and secrecy. Can’t help but agree with them. If Winston Peters is also starting to look a bit jaded. How long can he keep up the snarling grin. Going to be potholes galore.

    • Barfly 4.1

      IMO depends a bit on the media – if they are "see no evil ,hear no evil, speak no evil" as far these RW loons are concerned it will take longer – I guess we have to hope for lots of "if it bleeds it leads"

      • Robert Guyton 4.1.1

        In the House, the Opposition will have a glorious time eviscerating the Government – too, too much material to work with. The NACTFirst ministers will become defensive and will be reported upon – they can't keep their cockiness up for long under the prolonged pressure that's coming their way.I think James Shaw's "what evidence have you received…" approach is the one; they've batted it away in the lead up to Christmas, but that's a temporary respite for them – that sort of carelessness cannot be sustained.

      • Stephen D 4.1.2

        A lot will depend on the msm attitude. If they get a sniff of blood in the water, like sharks, they can’t help themselves. A feeding frenzy will ensue.

  5. adam 5

    Can I ask the GCSB if this scum bag is in the country?

    We have a serious fraud squad if he is, ah?

    Trigger warning folks, it degenerates to sexual assault.

    Hence if he here, we should arrest him.

    Edit: Asking because if I saw him I might assault him, and I’d rather a trial.

  6. gsays 6

    This is an interview with 'cancelled comic writer' Graham Linehan (Father Ted, Black Books, I.T. Crowd).

    It raises some interesting points. 'Gamergate', the ideology of British comedy, the danger of uninformed majorities, The Denton document (avoid the media, don't talk about the issue), "thought terminating cliche".

  7. joe90 7

    Too early to use the p word?

    TOKYO/HOUSTON, U.S. — Growth in the trading of emissions credits has hit a snag, with the effectiveness of carbon offset projects, such as forest conservation, being called into question and demand for carbon offsets plunging.

    As airlines and other major buyers of emissions credits have begun to shun the market, carbon credit futures have fallen 90% from their peak, making it difficult for the financial instrument to play a major role in global decarbonization.

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