The MPs go to Waitangi

Written By: - Date published: 9:04 am, February 5th, 2020 - 93 comments
Categories: Andrew Little, greens, jacinda ardern, james shaw, labour, national, nz first, Politics, same old national, treaty settlements, uncategorized, winston peters - Tags: , , ,

Waitangi Day and the days leading up to it is a very important part of our country’s political and cultural calendar.  For a couple of days a year we shake off our holiday slumber and get ready for the year to come while at the same time reflecting on where we are as a nation.

For a long time Waitangi day has been controversial.  It was an event that allowed for the venting of rage that Nga Puhi in particular felt at the breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi.  The breaches are well documented and detailed.  Just check out any of the reports of the Waitangi Tribunal to understand and appreciate how blatant and calculating many of the breaches were and the degree of upset and angst and the sense of loss caused by them.

The treaty itself is quite a simple document.  Please note that the Te Reo version takes precedence according to well established principles of International Law.

Article one has the vexed issue of what rights were ceded.  The Te Reo version included the word “kāwanatanga” which loosely translated into governance.  If they intended for Maori to cede sovereignty the drafters of the treaty would have used the phrase “Tino Rangatiratanga” but then Maori would not have signed.

Under article two the Crown promised to protect for Maori their lands, villages and all their treasures.  This has been given an expansive interpretation, as it should.  For instance in what I believe is one of the most important decisions the Tribunal has given it said this about the protection of Te Reo:

Some New Zealanders may say that the loss of Māori language is unim­portant. The claimants in reply have reminded us that the Māori culture is a part of the heritage of New Zealand and that the Māori language is at the heart of that culture. If the language dies the culture will die, and some­ thing quite unique will have been lost to the world.

Our task has been to decide whether the Treaty has been broken in this respect, and if it has, what should be done about it.

The evidence and argument has made it clear to us that by the Treaty the Crown did promise to recognise and protect the language and that that promise has not been kept. The ‘guarantee’ in the Treaty requires affirma­tive action to protect and sustain the language, not a passive obligation to tolerate its existence and certainly not a right to deny its use in any place. it is, after all, the first language of the country, the language of the original inhabitants and the language in which the first signed copy of the Treaty was written. But educational policy over many years and the effect of the media in using almost nothing but english has swamped the Māori language and done it great harm.

We have recorded much of what we were told of the effect upon Māori children of our educational policy and it makes dismal reading. it seems that many Māori children leave school uneducated by normal standards, and that disability bedevils their progress for the rest of their lives.

We have recommended that te reo Māori should be restored to its proper place by making it an official language of new Zealand with the right to use it on any public occasion, in the Courts, in dealing with government departments, with local authorities and with all public bodies. We say that it should be widely taught from an early stage in the educational process. We think instruction in Māori should be available as of right to the children of parents who seek it. We do not recommend that it should be a compulsory subject in the schools, nor do we support the publication of all official documents in both english and Māori, at least at this stage in our development, for we think it more profitable to promote the language than to impose it.

Clearly there are significant issues about the treaty and wise and inclusive political leadership is required to navigate the country through the ongoing settlement process.

There has been an intense effort over the past few years to make Waitangi a reflective gathering rather than a disruptive one.  The speeches were moved from the lower marae to the upper marae.  And the politicians behaved themselves, mostly.

Fast forward to yesterday.  Leading up to the 180th anniversary of the signing of the treaty and the entry onto the Marae and the speeches should have been a sombre event.  But no one told Simon Bridges.  Instead he thought he should show up and be political and basically a bit of a dick.

The event was marked by the four major leaders walking onto the Marae together.  This made quite a sight.  It appears that at Jacinda’s suggestion James Shaw placed himself between Simon Bridges and Winston Peters, just in case.

The speeches were interesting.  Jacinda’s was as good as you thought it would be.   As Zane Small at Newshub comments:

As Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern attends Waitangi Day celebrations at the upper marae for her third time, there are  Māori issues that cannot be ignored, including Ihumātao, Whānau Ora and Oranga Tamariki uplift of Māori children.

The Prime Minister asked to be held to account when she first visited in 2018.

“Hold us to account,” she said at the time, standing on the paepae at the upper marae.  “Because, one day I want to be able to tell my child that I earned the right to stand here… Only you can tell me when I have done that.”

She told Newshub ahead of Waitangi Day 2020: “I will keep going back to Waitangi and be present at Waitangi. You can’t be held to account unless you’re there.

“That’s important to me, to continue to be there and have those discussions, and actually on all of those areas we know that there’s work to be done – some of them incredibly complex – but on each, we are making good progress.”

James Shaw’s speech was gracious and elegant.  I think he is doing a good job.

Andrew Little gave his speech entirely in Te Reo.  Well done Andrew.  He has apparently been learning Te Reo for an hour a day for a couple of years. 

Waatea News had the headline of the year so far, “Little reo goes a long way” and described what happened in this way:

Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister Andrew Little has brought a new sense of optimism to the Ngāpuhi settlement process by delivering his speech at the Waitangi Treaty Grounds in te reo Māori.

Mr Little emphasised how much he had learned in his two years in the job, to the delight of the audience.

Jacinta Arden said when she asked Māori to hold the Government to account, it was not just for what it did but the way it did it.

Mr Little’s speech was an example of how it was attempting to bridge the two worlds, with not just its Māori MPs and Ministers crossing the bridge every day but other MPs trying to do the same.

The speech and the subsequent response can be seen in this video from Radio New Zealand:

Kelvin David put it well.

Bridges’ speech was a train wreck and totally inappropriate for the occasion.  He promised a four lane highway from Whangarei to Auckland.  Obviously he has missed news about the Government’s big infrastructure spend. And how will a road reduce poverty or improve education standards or provide housing or protect our environment?

But as Simon Wilson has pointed out (paywall) this was not a speech for Waitangi. This was a stump speech for the rest of the population and for his base. Bridges did make a fool of himself, but he wouldn’t have minded because he wasn’t talking to the people who laughed at him.

It is a shame really. Sometimes the occasion should be too important for petty politics to interfere. Yesterday was one of those occasions.

93 comments on “The MPs go to Waitangi ”

  1. Sacha 1

    Clearly there are significant issues about the treaty and wise and inclusive political leadership is required to navigate the country through the ongoing settlement process.

    It is about honouring, not settlement. How we navigate challenges like Ihumātao and Ōranga Tamariki show our progress and intent.

    • mickysavage 1.1

      I agree they are two distinct processes. Settlement is important to acknowledge the breaches that have occurred in the past. Honouring the treaty is about the relationship in the future and is just as if not more important.

      • Sacha 1.1.1

        'Settlement' is a process dictated by Pakeha institutions, accompanied by a refusal to pay more than one or two percent of the assessed economic harms.

  2. pat 2

    Little demonstrating some of what originally elevated him to the role of party leader.

    • mac1 2.1

      And, speaking as a former language teacher, showing what an hour a day can do for language acquisition.

      I am very proud of Andrew Little. In reply to his speech, a northern speaker told him that Little was a different man from he who first came to Waitangi.

      He would be right. Learning a language involves discipline in both its senses It means that the learner is exposed to the culture which gave rise to the language. Learning a second language also exposes the learner to the differences between the cultures as the learner finds out what, in this case English, the first language means.

      My wife, also a former language teacher, wears a t-shirt emblazoned with "Vive la Différence" which is directed at this point. Language learning helps understand the differences and helps us to celebrate them.

      Ka pai te mōhiotanga o Anaru Little. Bien fait, monsieur le Ministre. Bene fecis.

  3. Ad 3

    Andrew Little +1000

    • Enough is Enough 3.1

      Andrew would have made a brilliant Prime Minister.

      He consistently shines in all of his port folios and is respected.

  4. Sacha 4

    But as Simon Wilson has pointed out (paywall) this was not a speech for Waitangi. This was a stump speech for the rest of the population and for his base. Bridges did make a fool of himself, but he wouldn’t have minded because he wasn’t talking to the people who laughed at him.

    Bridges confirms that he has no shame about hijacking the process that way:

    "What's important to me is speaking about what matters – yes on the paepae – but also direct to New Zealanders.

    "I think though, New Zealanders see it for what it is and reality is it is a great way for me, for National, for people on the paepae to talk about what matters."

    The ends justify the means for unprincipled people.

  5. Robert Guyton 5

    Winston moving Shaw aside in order to take his place at the leader's side was fun to watch.

  6. Dennis Frank 6

    I blame Dover Samuels, but looks like the retro hat trend is going global. Clearly NZF has adopted it as tribal insignia – yet not Winston! Young Turks Shane & Ron marking out territory? Is that Kelvin, on the left edge of the photo, trying to import the trend into Labour?

    I wonder if it will embed on the campaign trail. Safari hats, perhaps. "I think designers are now realising the power of a hat and how different and individual it makes their collections look.” That from Stephen Jones (clients Rihanna, Lady Gaga, the Duchess of Sussex) creator of hats at Dior Men’s in Paris.

    The GQ Style editor, Luke Day, has been photographed for the past month in a variety of headwear: “I’m really into hats right now." "He travelled with five Mexican western hats in various colours for fashion week. “My cowboy vibe has gone less hustler and more Dallas, like JR Ewing at the Oil Baron’s Ball,” he quipps."

    "“People are embracing the hat a lot more, especially men, who are gaining confidence in their style,” says Nick Fouquet, a hat designer who set up his label in 2013 and includes Keith Richards as a fan." Gee, if Keith is on the bandwagon it must be cool.

    • "I think designers are now realising the power of a hat and how different and individual it makes their collections look.”

      You mean like hold-the-ladder-steady Shane Shane I'm not coming down into your alms with the blood of Te Tiriti flowing through his veins trying to look like a mafia Don?

      More like Frankie goes to Hollywood. And last I heard, he was living on Waiheke Island

      Someone should whisper in Winnie's ear (i.e. there are better options than Shane as a leader for NZ1 – Ron the Mark, or even Trace the Ace)

    • Gabby 6.2

      A hat would keep the uv off your chromy pate franko.

  7. Enough is Enough 7

    The politics of Waitangi are not "petty".

    Waitangi Day is a deeply political day and will continue to be one until all Treaty grievances are settled to the satisfaction of both Treaty partners.

  8. Cinny 8

    simon went to Waitangi and talked about roads…. priorities lolz.

    After watching his speech I felt embarrassed for the nats. simons speech was painful, the long pauses were tiresome.

    What is simon going to do for Maori? Build a road…. wow!

    Meanwhile, Andrew Little, kudos to you Sir, we are so proud of you.

    • Wensleydale 8.1

      It's nice that someone feels embarrassed for the National Party, because they seem utterly without shame.

    • New view 8.2

      He talks about roads because Northlands economy depends on it. The Maori population there would benefit from it big time. It should have already been started but wasn’t a priority for some reason. Tourism and business can’t function without it. You don’t like him being political( like everyone else that wants a photo opportunity) and you don’t like him talking about roads but what he says is the truth is it not.

      • Cinny 8.2.1

        It's going to be a big big road, a beautiful road, with many lanes for many cars, as many cars as possible, all with just one driver. And along that big beautiful road will be 10 bridges and they are going to be the biggest and bestest bridges NZ has ever seen, yes they are.

        • New view

          Grow up Cinny If you think NZ can survive without 21st century transport corridors you’re naive indeed. You may not need a good road where you live but if you live in Northland you might think differently. The fact that it’s had such poor roading Is a big part of why the area is undeveloped and impoverished. I don’t expect you to agree because it most likely doesn’t affect you. Big trucks and railway only have one driver too. The real world is out there Cinny Have a look. Oh by the way I live in Hawke’s Bay.

          • Cinny

            Is there are real world out there? By crikey you learn something every day. Don't forget to laugh, it's good for the soul.

            Did national neglect northland roads during the nine years they were in government? Is that why the roads are so bad?

            • New view

              It was promised at the last election from National. It was this FW coalition that stopped it. Now they are having another look but the economy is faultering with international influence and this Governments easy financial ride is coming to an end. You think this Governments good intentions are enough but you’re wrong. You actually have to do stuff and finish it.

              • Cinny

                So national neglected the northland roads for nine years, then all of a sudden at the last election they promised to sort it out, but were voted out instead?

                Meanwhile the current government are fixing the roads up there and giving people a free tertiary education as well as a home winter energy payment….

                Hmmmm a four lane highway that never happened v's things that are really happening to improve peoples lives who need help the most.

                • Anne

                  It was this FW coalition that stopped it. Now they are having another look but the economy is faultering

                  And there we have "New view". An old rwnj view with a new face. Another one not worthy of engagement.

                  I think we're going to be getting a lot of them turn up this year – at least when they graduate from training school.

                • New view

                  No , they tried to deal with two major earthquakes and an international financial crash. Just idy biddy stuff. Stuff that this Government hasn’t faced yet. I don’t expect to change your mind Cinny, but don’t dismiss Nationals roading agenda. The fact is your lot are trying to buy the next election by reinventing Nationals roading policies. Let’s just agree to disagree.

                  • Incognito

                    Here’s a fact-check to suit your narrative, almost:

                    The final score: There's no knockout winner, but Labour just edges it at 10-9.

                  • Cinny

                    Why do national supporters continually use earthquakes and the GFC as an excuse for their own inaction? If it weren't for Cullen's economic management the books would not have been in such good shape to wear those events.

                    Speaking of earthquakes… lets not forget about Southern Response (created by national) being slammed in the High Court for being involved in misleading and deceptive behaviour.

                    I remember national wasting money everywhere, from skycity to rio tinto, fancy signs and roof top gardens to hair appliances. How many people did they kick out of houses due to bogus meth tests. None of which benefited NZ children or NZ elderly.

                    But don't worry NZ, simon is going to build a big beautiful four lane highway to fix everything.

  9. AB 9

    I might regard Simon Bridges as a vulgar clown with a tin ear – but his base doesn't. His base despises Waitangi Day and everything Maori – except their performance as rugby players. He has calculated that by doing what he has, he loses nobody that was ever going to vote for him anyway. Allowing for some wasted vote, he needs maybe 47-48% to govern alone. He needs his base to spend the next 7 months fired up and angry. He needs to maximise the wasted vote so he can maybe even govern alone on less than 47% – hence the move on not working with NZ First. Never underestimate the National Party or the lengths to which existing wealth and power will go to protect and enhance itself.

  10. mac1 10

    "It appears that at Jacinda’s suggestion James Shaw placed himself between Simon Bridges and Winston Peters, just in case."

    Another interpretation might be that the Deputy Prime Minister stands next to the Prime Minister and the leader of a party that supports the coalition also stands in the front row alongside those he supports, being a question of ranking.

    Better to be invited by the PM to take your rightful place than be sent back having overstepped your rank.

    In my early years I did that unwittingly, as a prefect at the badging ceremony walking off the stage before the Head Boy. I still cringe….

    Know your place. Where you are, and who you are with. Simon did not know his place and correct behaviour at this ceremony with his inappropriate grandstanding.

  11. Gosman 11

    Waitangi day and all the associated palaver around it has become a political joke so Bridge's actions were entirely consistent with that.

    • I Feel Love 11.1

      What associated palaver? The northlanders getting too "uppity" for ya?

    • Marcus Morris 11.2

      For you and the followers of Bridges you are probably correct. For the rest of us you couldn't be more wrong.

    • It's become a "political joke" for whom, Gosman? It's hard to imagine Māori find it very comical. Perhaps there might be just a particular demographic that thinks it's a joke and Bridges is appealing to that demographic.

      • Gosman 11.3.1

        Maori are only 15% of the population. If they want to have a special day for themselves then that should be their right. If they want the rest of the population to care and not regard it as a joke then they might want to engage with them. Of course they don't have to and they can continue doing what they are doing at the moment. The more they do it thought the more the rest of us won't give a damn and we will just spend the day with our families at the beach.

        • McFlock

          Don't put me in your "rest of us" bullshit. Quite a few non-Māori also recognise WD as a recognition of a basic part of our nation. If you think that's a political joke, fair enough. But there's a distinct possibility yours is a minority view.

          • Dennis Frank

            I've got a different minority view to him. I acknowledge that commemoration of the day that a selection of Maori patriarchs signed up to partnership with the English matriarch is worthwhile. Privileged caste systems ought to stick together, eh? Solidarity is good. Might is right. Etc.

          • JanM

            I do so hope it is a minority view. How sad that there are people in this country who do not understand the importance of the treaty and obviously neither know nor care who we are as a nation

            • Gosman

              What is the importance of the Treaty ? Can you explain please?

              • McFlock

                Here's a primer for school students. Try a dictionary for words you don't comprehend, like "respect", "fair", "rights", that sort of thing.

              • Robert Guyton

                The importance of the Treaty (or any treaty, I presume you mean).

                Well, agreements between parties; I guess those parties regarded them as important enough to make, so anyone who cannot understand that importance must surely defer to those who can.

          • Muttonbird

            Quite a few right wing British and South African immigrants can't/won't understand why the country celebrates 'Maori day' as they see it.

            The history of New Zealand in unimportant to them and of course they become very uncomfortable at the thought of indigenous peoples and indigenous causes being recognised.

          • Gosman

            I'm pretty sure my view is shared by many (if not most) non-Maori NZers.

            • McFlock

              So half of 85% is 42.5%.

              Simon be onto a winner, there. I'm happy for him to keep acting like a clown and getting skewered by everyone else.

            • WeTheBleeple

              Bullshit. Shouldn’t you be hurling abuse at Greta or maybe starting a petition to reinstate a male Dr Who. Sad old twat.

            • Muttonbird

              I think you'd be completely wrong.

              But then I suspect you don't have the slightest grasp on how New Zealanders think on this. Most gammons don’t.

              Most Kiwis are increasingly proud of Waitangi Day – particularly under the healing touch of the Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

            • woodart

              "pretty sure" is that like pretty legal? prove that your view is shared by many(if not most) non maori New Zealanders. you are always on here demanding proof of others statements, so go on ,prove it…..

            • Brigid

              (deleted expletives)

              I don't have a speck of Maori blood. Your view is not shared by me, nor many people that I associate with.

            • Robert Guyton

              Gosman's "all right-thinking people agree with me" moment.

        • Psycho Milt

          Maori are only 15% of the population. If they want to have a special day for themselves then that should be their right.

          That's true, but what has it got to do with Waitangi Day? The Treaty of Waitangi wasn't a treaty between Māori, it applies to 100% of the population. Māori feature prominently in commemorations of it because it's a Treaty between them as a group and the rest of us as a group. Your sneering doesn't alter the fact that you're covered by the Treaty as much as any Māori is.

          … the rest of us won't give a damn and we will just spend the day with our families at the beach.

          It's a public holiday, you can spend it however you like. That doesn't make public holidays a joke.

          • JanM

            Well said Psycho Milt

          • solkta

            Yeh, if we are looking for joke public holidays there are better contenders like queens birthday weekend that isn't even in the same month as the queens birthday.

        • woodart

          while you are on the beach gosboy, dont forget to put some sunscreen on that neck of yours, wouldnt be healthy to get any redder. since you wont be making a fool of yourself online,I presume you be making a fool of yourself in person?

        • Sanctuary

          You are a racist Gosman. You can get help for that.

          • Incognito

            You might want to point out where in the comment it is obvious racism. Or you could address the actual comment. Don’t feel you have to take the lazy option and the path well trodden.

            In simple terms, if you don’t like a comment, deal with it. If you can’t, leave it.

            Why is it that quite a few Lefties appear to follow the same approach as the ones on the other side of the political divide by othering others? The more they do it, the more they become like their perceived enemies, but this sad irony is completely lost on them.

            He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And if you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss also gazes into you

            Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, Aphorism 146

            • Sanctuary

              Well you know, if it looks like a duck and it quacks like a duck then unlike some I don't need a confirmatory note from the bird in question to work out it is a duck.

              • Incognito

                It takes one to recognise one.

                • Sanctuary

                  Look, I could be flippant and say it doesn't require to be a duck to recognise another duck. But it is 2020. Gosman's little effort belongs in Dons JuBrassic Kiwi/Iwi era, and his posting history kinda gives us a clue, doncha thunk?

                  Asking me to point out where I think Gosman is being racist with his comment is a bit like asking me to point out what exactly in the behaviour of a guy who puts on a SS uniform and struts around Aotea square yelling “Seig Heil!” at the top of his voice makes me think he supports the Third Reich.

                  • Incognito

                    I challenged you to lift your game. Instead, you go all flippant with a strawman marching up & down Aotea Square. In other words, you cannot point to racism in the comment @ 11.3.1.

                    I’m well aware of Gosman’s history here and yet he’s free to comment here as long as he stays within the rules. He has received several bans – three in 2019 and twice put in pre-moderation – and there’s even a special banning rule named after him:

            • Gabby

              You can't other others coggy.

    • adam 11.4

      If you don't like it Gossy – go back to SA or North Korea – I'm sure you'll fit right in.

      You chose to come here, and if you don't like it – leave. You have the option. I suggest with the amount of moaning you do – you take the option and leave.

      • woodart 11.4.1

        perhaps adam, we could start a give a little page to send gosboy back to dumbphuckistan.

      • OnceWasTim 11.4.2

        ya can't say shit like that @adam. Gossy will off in his Beamer to seek solace in the alms of the honorary diplomat for Mongolia.

        Look out if it's rush hour and you're near a an on-ramp to his electorate

      • Incognito 11.4.3

        FFS! You’re worse than Gosman with those stupid stereotypes.

        • adam

          Oh do calm down Incognito and take it as the joke it was.

          Or do I have to put in a laugh track so you get the stupidity of compearing SA and North Korea?

          EDIT: Did you wilfully miss the comedy in the comments below it or were the blinkers on?

          • Incognito

            I didn’t miss the ‘comedy gold’ below in response to your ‘gem’. Oh, how we laughed and laughed!

            In fact, I had been pondering what to do about those too but it was too late in the evening for decisive action.

            The point is that you and your budding fellow comedians picked on the messenger to try shut him up/down.

            • RedLogix

              Yes. A bunch of very dubious comments that would put any fair minded moderator into a difficult position.

              Maybe we should just formalise a site rule that because only older, white males can be racist, sexist etc … any abuse heaped on them is permitted and encouraged. That way everyone knows where they stand. And it would be so very inclusively woke and all …

              • Sanctuary

                Mate, it is pretty simple. If you don't want to be abused for posting red neck bullshittery on a left leaning website, then don't post red neck bullshittery.

                It is called common sense, you can call off the woke search party now.

                • RedLogix

                  Except when a moderator asked you to point out the obvious racism or address in the comment you literally ducked for cover behind the usual woke smokescreen of virtue.

              • Incognito

                It might be easier to ban those who are brave stupid enough to write unpopular comments here. The ones left behind can then entertain themselves with political attack ads and amuse themselves with passionate rants against the others. The Standard would finally become an echo chamber like so many other Kiwi blogs. Mission accomplished. A major bonus would be a much easier life for Moderators; they can just join the fray.

                • adam

                  I write heaps of unpopular comments here. You get upset by them on a regular basis Incognito wink.

                  Why are you suddenly worried about Gossy, he is smarter than you think. And if you look at his past post around this time of year – his comments have a striking similarity.

                  If we can't take the piss out of our political opponents, then the only option becomes quite festering frustration – and I would have thought you may have learned somthing about quite festering frustration.

                  You may be offended by this, so trigger warning up front. This is not a high flaunting web site of impeccable discussion. Indeed that is the appeal for many – the whole academic polite discussion thing is overrated and most of the time run contrary to the needs and desires of working people. Who need a good laugh, a beer and a fuck.

                  • Incognito

                    Good response, thank you.

                    Let’s get a few misunderstandings out of the way.

                    I don’t get upset by your comments. I do point out when your language is getting too aggressive and veers too closely to the unacceptable (e.g. starting flame wars and calls for violence), for which you have a tendency. Maybe that upsets you although you generally seem to agree when you have gone a little too far. Popularity of comments is not a measure of their quality.

                    I always keep an eye on Gosman’s comments but he doesn’t worry me in this instance (which doesn’t mean I agree with or like his comments). Feel free though to point out where he violated the site’s policy.

                    You’ll have to explain to me why and how any attempts by me to curb your and others’ urge to “take the piss out of our political opponents” is related to mass murder of innocent people. I think that is a very long bow but if it works for you, you’ll have no difficulty explaining it in your own words. Until that time, I’ll remain neutral on this comment.

                    I’m not offended if you address (my) content, which you have.

                    Nobody is demanding “impeccable discussion” here, which is a strawman. Neither is there a deliberate attempt to transform threads into “academic polite discussion”, far from it. Personally, I think there are not enough NZ blogs that allow for and encourage introspective analysis and discourse and self-reflection and TS is as good as it gets. However, The Standard’s MO is robust debate. This obviously means different things to different people but here it means, by and large, addressing the comment, not the commenter.

                    You raise a very interesting point about the needs and desires of working people. You seem to think that TS cannot cater for them when it also caters for people who’d enjoy “academic polite discussion” as if these are completely different and separated groups! I’d like to think there’s room for both but internal fault lines between the so-called woke and non-woke Left are opening up and entirely by their own making, IMO.

                    The Standard cannot provide a beer or a fuck – Tinder might be an option but I couldn’t possibly comment – but we sure can have a laugh, at each other and at ourselves. However, my idea of a laugh is not ripping into “our political opponents” with personal attacks and insults although a little mockery and a joke at their expense don’t go astray; it’s give and take, live and let live.

                    Maybe this can lead to further discussion elsewhere (e.g. in OM and not under this Post) to find out if TS is on the right track and/or what can be done better, if anything. Should it be more of an outlet for working people, for example? This is not for me to decide; I try to follow the site’s policy and rules that are lenient and sensible IMO and one of my mottos is ‘take it or leave it’. One last comment is that over the years TS has struggled to attract female Authors and is, at times, not the most female-friendly place to visit let alone participate in. When advocating for one group it is important not to lose sight of others that may feel excluded. Are we one big tent or are we a collection of tiny ones fighting for space, attention, and domination? Maybe the same question applies to the Labour Party and/or the Left at large?

                    • RedLogix

                      I don't want to be seen doing a gratuitous +1 here, but clearly you put a lot of thought into that and I applaud it’s even handedness.

                      Most people who haven't done it have no idea how difficult moderation can be. It's very easy to get wrong footed for a variety of reasons, and get really angry reactions, but ultimately everyone commenting here (including me) is essentially a guest, and attacking authors and moderators, re-litigating specific decisions etc, is simply out of bounds. Moderation is not always perfect, but it is necessary to respect it.

                      Discussing overall direction or moderation policy in general terms is reasonable, but with care. I've personally advocated the idea that most people, most of the time should be left alone as long as they tend toward self-moderation over time. Moderation is a form of force, and it should only be used to the smallest extent necessary.

                      People who can't do this will eventually select themselves out.

                    • adam

                      I'm insulted that you say I 'call for violence' and would like you to point out when I've done that. I've taken peoples comments to their logical conclusion which is violence – and have done it in a very over the top manner – puckish rogue comes to mind. Also done it to BM a couple of times and others.

                      But in no way have I 'called for violence'. That is a fucking stupid statement on your part. If I was calling for political violence, I would be banned from this site permanently- and rightly so.

                      So I'm left to question your ability understand irony.

                      Or any sort of humour for that manner.

                      I'm also sure you never read the manifesto of the Christchurch gun man. If you had, you might have some insight on how those who never have to deal with the piss taken out of them react. It was like reading the ravings of a man child who never could handle someone questioning them. It also reads much like all the other far right rubbish.

                      Gossy is not a right wing nut, he can take being laughed at. I'm sure he laughs at my comments and shakes his head, as much as I laugh and shake my head at his.

                      You forget, I think I think very little of party politics – indeed I find it distasteful – especially the labour party and their commitment to an ideology (liberalism) which I find as vicious, and depraved as marxism and fascism.

                      The One Big Tent analogy – Big Bill Haywood would be impressed. The tent only works if you agree what is upholding the struts. Which is why the IWW was so effective. The problem is that we don't agree on the struts, so any call for us to work in one big tent – is just a exercise from one group to be dominate over all others.

                      I'm all for having a discussion on what could make up some basic points of agreement. But a big part of that would have to be economic, and that is not somthing which happens here often.

                    • Incognito []

                      I’ve taken peoples comments to their logical conclusion which is violence – and have done it in a very over the top manner – puckish rogue comes to mind. Also done it to BM a couple of times and others.

                      Indeed, you have, and it has triggered at least one moderation note, which is exactly what I said “I do point out when your language is getting too aggressive and veers too closely to the unacceptable (e.g. starting flame wars and calls for violence), for which you have a tendency.”

                      When you take comments by others “to their logical conclusion”, they become your words, not theirs. First problem with this is that you cannot attribute these things to others and you have to own them as such. This takes us to the second problem, which is that irony, sarcasm, or ‘humour’ don’t always come across clearly in written form. So, unless you make it clear what you mean and what your intentions are, you’ll leave others, including Moderators, guessing. With comments that appear to incite violence or to act as some kind of sick humour to make a point, quite atrociously poorly, I tend to err on the side of caution. The onus is on you to be clear and I would not recommend this approach and not just because it is risky but because it is usually quite ineffective and easily misses the point.

                      You have been moderated numerous times for personal insults and the likes and you have received bans for these too.

                      With that out of the way, I can now address your other puzzling point – it puzzles me. Are you advocating taking the piss out of “our political opponents” to avoid our frustrations boiling over or not? You seem to be saying that those who cannot deal being at the receiving end of (our?) piss-take turn into monsters. Sounds like a contradiction to me but maybe it is just a paradox that you can easily clear up.

                      I agree with you about party politics; they are more hinder than help. But this is more about internal and external power play than about ideology, IMO.

                      The tent analogy was a question.

                      Feel free to discuss economics if you think that is important. Personally, I think framing our pressing issues as mostly economic and viewing everything through the same lens is the reason why we are in the shtuck and if we persist with it, we’ll stay in this hole we have dug (for) ourselves.

            • adam

              The Royal 'we' now is it?

    • Incognito 11.5

      Simon Bridges was there as Leader of the Opposition and not as Leader of the National Party but it is clear that the distinction was lost on him here as it was when he visited China. His political stunt was polarising and divisive, which seems to be the MO of the National Party and its current leadership. He demonstrated that he’s not interested in uniting the nation and that he is no Prime Ministerial material. It’s jokers like Mr Bridges who turn Waitangi Day into a “political joke” so in that sense you’re correct to say “Bridge's actions were entirely consistent with that”. However, it begs the question why he bothered to show up at all; by all accounts, he hadn’t put much effort into it.

  12. JustMe 12

    Not really too sure where Simon Bridges' brains were but in my honest opinion he turned Waitangi into the political debating chamber that should really be kept in parliament.

    Maybe in one of his usual stupid moments Simon Bridges is toying with the misguided belief that he is the NZ equivalent of Donald Trump. That is Bridges pouts like Trump and juts his chin out like Trump. All the bad habit of someone who is arrogant beyond all credibility. But then Simon Bridges really lack credibility when he behaves like an American nutter like Donald Trump.

    If Bridges was all interested in the photo opportunity and making pre-election promises that we all know previous leaders of National have made and broken so easily once the votes were counted then it's best he reconsider the fact he has been seen as more of a Village Idiot than ever before.

    He has said he cannot trust Winston. But then equally so can any NZer ever trust a National MP like Bridges looking at the sad fact that whilst he was a minister in the previous National government he lacked a voice of concern when National did some pretty awful things towards NZers eg the broken promises list?

    Lets be assured of one thing and that is Simon Bridges will be jutting his chin out and looking all arrogant because that is probably the ONLY thing he will be good at. He may as well be Donald Trump's bum boy in the South Pacific.

  13. peterlepaysan 13

    bridges braying is the noise one expects from a greedy capitalist business "friendly" expert, (a la blingish, an j key) driving our health and welfare systems into poverty and privatisation.

    Like trump he is denying climate change and its effects and wants to give tax breaks to the national party wealthy backers ( a la blinglish and key).

    With intellectual (and ethical) giants like collins and bennet beside him he must sleep easy.

  14. SHG 14

    Shocked to hear that having party leaders deliver speeches at Waitangi has become politicised, shocked I tell you

  15. Peter 15

    A four lane highway between Auckland and Whangarei has become a necessity for the economic development and well-being of Northland. I'm trying to work out what happened in very recent years that has that suddenly appearing like a big sign across the sky.

    Electoral threat and political opportunism would seem to be the reasons. The Holiday Highway so Aucklanders could get to areas like Matakana, Omaha Mahurangi was a start. Criticism of that elicited the 'economic development' line. Four lanes to Kaitaia should have been the goal with Rodney as an incidental along the way.

    Bridges had his metaphorical butt kicked by Winston Peters in the 10 double-lane bridges for Northland debacle. His speech at Waitangi shows him trapped in petulant loser mode, back in Northland trying to suggest he's wearing big pants now not nappies, and not filled ones at that.

    I like the irony of calling Bridges' speech a 'train wreck.' Yes, rail is back on the agenda in Northland. I wonder if the interest of the Government in rail in Northland will pique Bridges' interest or some silly little rejection cells will jump into action and have him promising the earth, including an upgrade for 10 Northland rail bridges.

    • Ad 15.1

      Whangarei needs to become a proper Auckland satellite with expressway and passenger rail supporting, jut like it's about to be in Hamilton. Shifting the port would be a great start.

      Auckland is far too dominant of this country, and needs to spread its economic capacity and opportunity more broadly – but especially to Northland.

    • Muttonbird 15.2

      It was idiotic to promise a four lane highway between Auckland and Whangarei. It was politics for effect and her rightly got shot down by an incensed Winston Peters.

      Road improvements between the two are imperative but not a dual carriageway as an immediate start. A lot depends on the future of Port infrastructure changes.

      I imagine the best result is to split Ports of Auckland into three. Move a third to North Port and a third to Tauranga and leave the Eastern third in Auckland at the Mechanics Bay end.

      This creates space for Auckland to become a great international city, it invigorates Northland, and the move to Tauranga makes sense logistically.

      It's just stupid to stand up at Te Whare Rūnanga and blurt out you're going to build a 100km motorway just for effect.

  16. Ad 16

    No fights, supportive speeches, few policy issues debated, lovely new museum opened to Maori soldiers, thousands flocking to the different nationwide celebrations.

    Most successful Waitangi Day celebrations ever.

    Roll on 2040 for the Bicentenary, under President Ardern.

    • Muttonbird 16.1

      Agree that Waitangi Day has become something to look forward to under Prime Minister Ardern.

      Amazing transformation and it's the sort of leadership New Zealand has been lacking for 40 years.

  17. Bazza64 17

    Yes, Waitangi much better than it used to be. Sadly in the past the media would only show the most disruptive people & give a distorted view of the real vibe of the day.

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