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Until all of us are safe none of us are safe

Written By: - Date published: 10:39 am, September 9th, 2021 - 78 comments
Categories: act, covid-19, david seymour, health, politicans, racism - Tags:

On Monday of this week David Seymour received a roasting after posting a confidential Health code that was to be used by Waitakere Whanau to receive priority vaccination slots.

At the time there were two possibilities:

  1. It was a brain fart by a junior staffer with control of Seymour’s twitter account.
  2. It was a calculated racist dog whistle that in essence was an attack on a disadvantaged sector of the community from receiving urgently needed vaccines.

To prove beyond doubt it was the latter Seymour has doubled down and explained in the Herald excruciating detail why he tweeted what he tweeted.

He first claims that he only wanted to help and that his publication of the code meant that it was widely available.  Attacking “preferential treatment” and then claiming that you only wanted to make sure the availability of the preferential treatment was well known takes a lot of chutzpah.

He then completely contradicts himself and confirms that it was an attack on “Preferential treatment”.

From the article:

The reason I highlighted the code at all was because I want all New Zealanders, regardless of race, to have the opportunity to be vaccinated. I don’t care if you’re pakeha, Māori, Pasifika or Chinese – we should all have equal access. But none of us should be prioritised above the others because of who our grandparents were.

Put to one side the notion that Maori are privileged, which is laughable, Seymour shows a complete lack of understanding of the purpose of the vaccination project, which is to make sure that as many of us are vaccinated as possible.

This is because the virus does not discriminate, all it needs is a warm body to propagate in.

There is still doubt about what the optimal occupation rate is.  Judith Collins earlier suggested it was 70% of the adult population.  Loosening up at this stage would have led to thousands of deaths.

The UAE and Portugal are two of the highest rating countries in terms of vaccination rates.  England is currently sitting at 71%.  A simple body count suggests strongly that although they are doing reasonably well deaths are still occurring and elimination was and is the best approach.

Maori vaccination rates are lagging behind vaccination rates for all other sectors.

And in the middle of a pandemic if there is a problem then a variety of responses should be tried.

Seymour’s rant continues the myth that Maori are somehow privileged.  A cursory examination of a number of statistics would suggest that this is tosh.  Privileged people do not die on average seven years before the general population.

His claims about “prioritisation” are nonsensical.  Should we be worried that the Health System prioritises treatment of the ill over the healthy?

In the middle of a world wide pandemic when this country’s response has been outstanding it is really disappointing that elements of the opposition have played political games with the response.  It is especially disappointing that one of them has engaged in vile race baiting.

78 comments on “Until all of us are safe none of us are safe ”

  1. RosieLee 1

    None of us is safe.

    • mickysavage 1.1

      Both versions seem to be used.

      • Brigid 1.1.1

        One is.

        Two are.

        None = Not one.

      • mac1 1.1.2

        Micky seems to be right. 'None' can be singular or plural- 'not one' or 'not any'.

        Is “Until all of us are safe none of us are safe ” plural in intent? “Until all of us are safe not any of us are safe. ” “Until all of us are safe not one of us is safe. ”

        • Brigid

          None is always singular.

          'not any' is understood as 'not any one' or 'not any two' so in that case it can be 'not any of us is safe' or 'not any of us are safe'

          'not one' can not be read as 'not any'

          'One' is defined. 'Any' is not.

          RosieLee and I are right

            • In Vino

              Technically Brigid is correct, but English tends to be lax because there is no official authority (like the French Académie Française) to rule upon what is correct.

              In English the verb is often attracted into the plural by the nearest pronoun, as in 'None of us are aware..' (us being plural) and it has become accepted usage.

              The French and Germans tend to be far more grammatically correct about such matters.

              • mac1

                Does Fowler mean nothing? P 526 4th edition Fowler's English Usage even quotes one R Muldoon!

                "It is a mistake to suppose that the pronoun is singular only and must at all costs be followed by singular verbs or pronouns. It should be borne in mind that none is not a shortening of no one but is the regular descendant of OE nan (pronoun) 'none, not one'. At all times since the reign of King Alfred the choice of plural or singular in the accompanying verbs, etc., has been governed by the surrounding words or by the notional sense. Some examples will clarify matters: (sing.) a fear which we cannot know, which we cannot face, which none understands—T. S. Eliot, 1935;"…………….. if you're talking about the aged and the unemployed and the sick, none of these are going to be affected—R. Muldoon, 1986; None of our fundamental problems have been solved etc etc.

                Robert Burchfield, who edited Fowler, was a Kiwi born in Whanganui, à propos of little. I’m interested in this as a former English teacher , but currently am an editor of two newsletters. I am truly interested to be better informed.

                • In Vino

                  Fowler is a revered tome quoted by a majority of Grammar enthusiasts but does not have an official standing like the Govt-stamped approval enjoyed by the Académie Française, or, I think, the German Duden Institut. Fowler tends to quote respected writers to justify usages..

                  The irony is that both the Académie and Duden eventually have to alter their official rules to legalise what the majority of their speakers have been persistently but illegally doing for some time anyway..

                  But it does seem to me that from what I know of French and German, speakers do seem to adhere more rigorously to the correct singular verb when words like 'somebody' or 'none' are the subject.

                  I think these two languages are relevant because modern English is largely the outcome of Middle Anglo-Saxon English (very similar to the German of the time) being mixed over several hundred years with the Normans' French, heavily introduced to England with the Norman invasion of 1066.

                  I remember at school being told to say 'Bigger than I', not 'Bigger than me'. But later I found out that for several hundred years the English (Norman) aristocracy had been saying. 'Plus grand que moi'. Obviously the French emphatic pronoun 'moi' had been incorporated into modern English as 'me', which is why most modern English speakers have always said 'Bigger than me' and still do, despite some ignorant pedant claiming that "bigger than I' is the only correct way because it is short for 'Bigger than I am'. That rule works well for German, but not for French, and therefore neither for English.

                  I think that by now common usage has dictated that words like 'none' can take a plural verb in English.

                  • In Vino

                    One more point for mac1 – note that in all the examples you quote, the plural words 'these' and 'problems' come after 'none' and just before the verb. Among grammatically careless people, the plural word attracts the verb into a structurally incorrect plural.

                    It has become endemic in English.

                    By the way, Muldoon said he had a liking/respect for what he thought was the 'Queen's English'. But he often mangled it.

                    • logie97

                      Gosh – the topic has exercised the mind such that a grammatical discussion has ensued for the best part of two hours.

                      That said, no-one on here would accept Seymour's actions were anything but dogwhistle.

  2. Patricia Bremner 2

    Act has always dog whistled, ever since Brash. They say Maori are given advantages.

    Strange how those advantages have not improved life expectancy or health

    His essay rationalizing his choices to do this is very self serving and shallow.

    The facts make much of what he wrote rubbish. A sad commentary on the attitudes of the right.

    • Ghostwhowalksnz 2.1

      Yes. Right at the end he goes on about 'Charter schools' , and claims labour changed them to reopen with 'union teachers'

      hell , even state schools dont even 'have to have' union teachers.

      I thinks hes doing a 'Simon Bridges' from last year where he went off the rails into driveling nonsense.

      • weka 2.1.1

        Please read my reply to you today re moderation, thanks.

      • Ghostwhowalksnz 2.1.2

        I see the Herald has had the wording changed, Seymours claim was 'from union protected teachers'

        to now read

        ' They had to use union contracts'

        Its just a dog whistle against unions as the Ministry pays on a standard scale.

        For various reasons the old version was saved on my tablet.

        • Anne

          Yep. I can confirm that is what I read "from union protected teachers".

          What's the bet the twat rang the Herald and asked them to change it because he was getting done over by irritated teachers or something like that.

  3. tc 3

    Rimmers playing to his base as usual via the herald.
    The traditional conduit for wtf that NACT want to say/smear.

  4. Pete 4

    Seymour is on a determined campaign to vacuum up the redneck National votes.

    His 'explanation' is simply to reassure them that he means what he says, he's serious.

    At the same time he seeks to convince those who think he's a cute little boy and the voice of reason, that he is a nice boy and there's some intellectual rigour to his stance. Twerk and jerk will do it though, any real analysis of his position and what he says is beyond those who might be inclined to weigh it up.

  5. Ad 5

    At 12% and rising Seymour is my enemy's enemy.

    So he should keep on this course.

    In several electorates Act got near or well above 4,000 votes last election. Usually much better than their candidates. They sometimes but not always skew white European demographic, but the Maori votes within them would tend to go strongly to Maori Ward seats. Listed:

    – East Coast Bays

    – Epsom

    – North Shore

    – Pakuranga

    – Papakura

    – Whangapraoa

    – Tauranga

    – Waimakariri

    – Rangitata

    – Waitaki


    If David Seymour can find better candidates for the South Island seats, I see 3-4% upside for him in those seats against fed-up National voters.

    We can happily cheer on a fundamental split in the right.

    • AB 5.1

      Seymour would only ever align with National – so I can't see that there's a lot of tactical upside in ACT doing better. Sure, it would annoy National and might keep their leadership unsettled, which could be helpful.

      But strategically I think it's bad if ACT do better than they are – they would be keeping alive and giving credibility to the most regressive form of right-wing libertarianism, an ideology that should have been buried for good by the end of the 1990's

    • Forget now 5.2

      It doesn't always follow that the enemy of your enemy is your friend. A right wing led by ACT would be a more frightening prospect, at least National believes in the existence of society (if only to exploit it).

      The Stuff colorful graphics are pretty enough, but the official statistics tables are easier to compare (if a bit monotone). You missed out; Coromandel with 4,602 (nearly twice the Green Party!); Selwyn 5,396; Southland 5,016 ACT votes (amongst others 4000+), but included; East coast bays, Pakuranga, Papakura & Tauranga (close at 3,952), despite them all being under your 4000 party vote line. Why that particular number anyway Ad?


      • Ad 5.2.1

        Thanks I forgot Selwyn and Coromandel. If the Greens can do it in Coromandel …

        4,000 is a solid established household voter database to increase to both party votes in a household, and freeing up your electorate vote.

        A sustained ground game with a really focused candidate can do wonders on that base if they put in the hard work.

        • Forget now

          Apparently the Coromandel is quite a bit different than it was in decades past when Fitzsimons represented. More like a suburb for North Shore boaties nowadays. Haven't been there for a while myself. Heard the rates got jacked up a fair bit though (or at least property valuation that rates are based on).

          I was thinking that maybe the 4000 number had something to do with exceeding the vote proportion at last election, but the numbers didn't quite align. Don't know if I would call the 2020 result solid or established for ACT. The 10%+ results back in 2011 & 2014 weren't predicative for the GP once Labour got its act together.

          • Ad

            Yes Coromandel is a functional suburb of Auckland for both car and digital commuters. That whole eastern side of Coromandel is just an uber-rich bolthole with a couple of tiny Maori villages surrounded. Rich Act pickings for next time.

            The Greens have held despite saying almost nothing in the media for years. Impressive voter loyalty.

            But the better National-Act comparison is the New Labour split in 1989. Seymour just needs to attract a couple of young disenchanted National 'dries' to his team.

            • Anne

              Seymour just needs to attract a couple of young disenchanted National 'dries' to his team.

              They tried to do that in the mid 1990s. Apart from a few disenchanted Nat members from the Muldoon era, they didn't have much luck. Former Nat politician, Maurice Williamson was one of those they approached but he didn't bite.

              Labour politician Mike Moore was also approached and he didn't bite either.

  6. Enough is Enough 6

    Seymour comes from the old tired perpsective that positive discrimination is a bad thing and we should focus solely of equal opportunity rather than equal outcome.

  7. woodart 7

    act cant understand that like most things in life, community health grows from the bottom up. they(like most right wingers ) think that everything is trickledown.

  8. Reality 8

    He was happy to accept his own vaccination which was offered to party leaders some weeks ago, well before large scale vaccinations were opened up for his age group. Hypocritical.

  9. Incognito 9

    Seymour wouldn’t want people with a broken leg on crutches or in a wheel chair have priority or pre-boarding on an airplane because “we should all have equal access” without preferential treatment or privileged priority access. If it happens to be person of certain ethnicity, they should simply wait in the queue like everybody else, according to Seymour. Because equality and stuff the broken leg, it was probably a bad personal choice, anyway.

  10. rod 10

    Seymour will say anything to get his smug and smarmy face in the news.

  11. Stuart Munro 11

    I suspect Cmore will gain a few Gnat voters out of this, for a while at least.

    But it's cheap.

    If ACT are ever to be more than a fringe party they need to be more statesmanlike.

    Character is destiny, and Seymore's looks like nothing Gowron would approve.

  12. swordfish 12


    Yes … my understanding is that all poor people are brown, all brown people are poor, low income elderly Pakeha have fantastic health outcomes & must therefore be punished & that it's best if those elderly Pakeha & Asians with potential comorbidities wait patiently behind young fit Maori & Pasifika so that affluent Woke elites can indulge in ostentatious moral posturing while scapegoating people far less financially privileged than themselves.


    • Incognito 12.1

      Fair comment, but the vaccination roll-out is and was based on prioritisation based on risk/need, not on ethnicity and/or age alone. The average life expectancy of your “young fit” Māori and Pacific people is many years less than of European and Asians.


      Don’t compare apples with oranges; leave that to Seymour.

      • DukeEll 12.1.1

        JT was on the 6pm news last night complaining that only 300 people in one day went through his vaccination station when he is equipped for 1800. Maybe JT is the problem and his communication to his community isn’t working.

        Peni Henare summed it up well on the same show

        • Incognito

          David Seymour did say that he was trying help. It just wasn’t clear that he tried to help JT with his communication issue. Yeah, right! JT is sticking up for his people; you’ll have to give him that.

    • McFlock 12.2

      Not sure Seymour was spilling the code to poor pakeha rather than the entitled UMC.

  13. vto 13

    "Privileged people do not die on average seven years before the general population."

    In contradiction men, apparently privileged, do mickysavage

    the whole 'privilege' issue is not something easily understood by most people. When they see someone lawfully entitled to something because of their birth, they see privilege, and it is at a base level. This point is not well countered at all.

    The way this whole issue is framed in public debate is not winning people over – it is doing the opposite, no matter how much explaining is undertaken. And I think that is because there is a difference in law as to what some people are entitled to based on their birth – which is a birthright privilege. Many many many euro-descendant people's families sought to escape birthright privilege in europe.

    I'm not expressing a personal view here, merely pointing out how this issue is seen by so very many. It is a view that the left is on the backfoot on. I don't know the answer

    • Gezza 13.1

      It's a difficult topic because we descendants of European migrants know something of the now far-off-in-time-&-distance background history of the countries our ancestors came from & perhaps something of the rugged lives many of our forebears in NZ had building this country.

      But in many cases, in those European countries, centuries of history have seen them invaded & change populations & loosen the long lost tribal-based ways of living. It's ancient history. We now have the concept of easily moving cities, buying a house or apartment, & of the individual & the nuclear family, & English law, & private property being the primary kinds of things we base our lives on.

      It's taken me a while to get to the point where I now understand so much more about Te Ao Māori. How completely different the worldview of those who identify as Māori is to the Pākehā one. Their whakapapa's not just a genealogy. Everyone is intricately connected to each other via whanu, hapu & iwi & tikanga (and to their environment which is imbued with its own wairua & mauri [spirituality& life force] ).

      They still operate as vibrantly collective tribal societies. Independent nations like the North American first peoples. And while our long dead & buried ancestors don't really feature in our current lives, theirs do. They are regarded as still present & honoured & even represented in such things as naming of marae buildings. Hurts to our European ancestors are not deeply felt, but for Maori, they are.

      Te Tiriti o Waitangi promised them te rangatiratanga. They didn't get it. They want it. And mana motuhake. Were I Māori, I'd quite possibly want these too. That is difficult to achieve in a democracy where they're currently only 15-16 % of the population.

      We can find people who look & speak English like us (now accented, of course) back in UK & in Canada & the US & all over the world. Māori come from here. Their ancestors arrived sufficiently long enough before ours they evolved their own, unique identity. When they say therefore that they're tangata whenua – that they're special – they are.

      It's a bit of a bugger because as a Pākehā Kiwi of many generations descent I can't call any other place home. So I want to be considered special too. Maybe that's where the rub is?

      • Gezza 13.1.1

        😮 Oops: tino rangatiratanga.

      • vto 13.1.2

        Thanks Gezza and yep I see all of that, and as I say don't know the solution.

        The gears aren't fully meshed yet and there is plenty of graunching going on still… and maybe wont stop..

        I think my main point still stands though – many many most people don't like an entitlement lawfully differentiated because of birth. And this very particular point is not well countered, not at all.

        • Gezza

          Yes. And that nervousness & potential hostility is exacerbated among some Pākekā who've actually googled & read He Puapua, because it recommends to Govt that we try & eventually develop (in phases) a 50/50 co-governance arrangement [based on te Tiriti being a partnership promise – as it has been interpreted by the Waitangi Tribunal] that would involve such things as various separate systems for Maori, including separate systems – for health & various even justice systems – based on Kaupapa Maori & tikanga.

          That separate justice system creates questions around who decides which system applies, for example, when there's a dispute, or crime commited by Pakeha against Maori & vice versa. And where they overlap, or how to determine which system takes precedence. Breaking tapu can be an offence in Maoridom. And there are possibly penalties (& associated processes) like muru, as opposed to utu, to be considered.

          • Incognito

            I doubt that many who have been suckered by the talking points of the likes of Judith Collins and Don Brash would have actually read He Puapua although the more ‘intellectual’ ones may have read the opinion pieces by Elizabeth Rata, the fake-Māori Professor. And that is not just a Māori vs. Pākehā issue, so painting it like this is unhelpful, IMHO; it goes deeper and further than that, it always has, and it always will. This happens to be a huge political wedge issue AKA red flag to a bull just as the vaccination issue is mostly a distraction to rally the troops and beat the drums, following the drum major (Brash) or drum majorette (Collins). Unfortunately, very few can rise above this and provide a more wholesome perspective.

            • Gezza

              Yes, I know. Collins is dog-whistling & usually lacks detailed knowledge of what she's stirring up. Rather than just listen to her I just googled & went & found it as a pdf. I might actually still have it book-marked on my lappy or this iPad. I should probably go & have another read.

              I actually found it interesting because a month or two before we even learned of he puapua's existence I was trying to find some prison stats on the Corrections website & by serendipity came across a Maori student's post-grad research paper which had been done for Corrections management on Maori tikanga & traditional justice concepts & practices. It was a fascinating read.

              I haven't read anything by Rata or Brash on the topic. I note your cautions & will bear them in mind.

              • Gezza

                Found it:


                It's quite an extensive document. There are numerous refernces to incorporating tikanga into legislation where possible.

                I was thinking of the Criminal & Family Justice section in my comments above. The phased development table's not an easy document to read on my little iPad screen. May well be a lot more nuanced than I recalled.

            • swordfish


              opinion pieces by Elizabeth Rata, the fake-Māori Professor.

              ad hominem's never a good idea … best critque her core arguments, if you can.

              Incidentally, I don't think she's ever claimed to be Māori … she was, of course, wife of the late Matt Rata & has every right to continue to use her married name without being abused for it.

              In the past, she has argued that this tawdry obsession with her ethnic ancestry as a kind of smearing mechanism is part & parcel of the regressive hyper-racialisation of society that she firmly opposes. Hence, she refuses to play that game.

  14. Ross 14

    Meanwhile, Associate Health Minister for Maori, Peeni Henare has said:

    “The buck stops with our people to come forward and get vaccinated. We’ve done iwi campaigns, we’ve done health provider campaigns, but ultimately the buck stops with our people,’’ he says.

    Of course, it could be that for many of those (Maori and non-Maori) who haven't had their first shot of the vaccine, they may be reluctant to be vaccinated. Talking to people about why they are reluctant or why they've decided not to be vaccinated might be useful.


    • Gezza 14.1

      Where they have talked to people it's often been about the remoteness of some Maori marae communities, their relative poverty & lack of suitable transport, & the lack of mobile health-based resources able to travel there.

      When they do take their kaumatua & kuia to town or city clinics, they're sometimes expected to just walk in, to a strange place, roll up their sleeves, get asked a couple of questions, get their jab, & go & sit where they're told to for 20 minutes until they're told they can go, like the Pākehās.

      This is alien. It's cold, & remote. Often nobody even asks them if they'd like a cup of tea & a biscuit & a chat. If we went to their marae or papakāinga to deliver vaccines , that's how we'd be received. We'd be welcomed. Made to feel at home. Manaakitanga.

  15. Gosman 15

    I think most people here underestimate the number of NZers who while comfortable with Maori having greater ability to control their own destiny do not want to see positive discrimination based on ethnicity. There is little risk David Seymour will take a political hit from his position.

    • Robert Guyton 15.1

      "I think most people here underestimate the number of NZers who while comfortable with Maori having greater ability to control their own destiny do not want to see positive discrimination based on ethnicity. are racist…"


      • vto 15.1.1

        Robert, isn't this "discrimination based on ethnicity" also this "racist"?

        This is exactly the issue that people have with this whole area, as in my initial point. Most people just can't equate what you have written there, simply because 'discriminating on the basis of ethnicity' is in fact racist.

        This is how they think.

        Their point is not countered. The left's arguments and narrative on this fail miserably, and I think your post shows exactly this.

        Different lawful entitlements based on birth…. or discrimination based on ethnicity…. both forms of racism they say…

        What is the counter to that? The counter expressed in a short and understandable form? What is it? Where is it? It doesn't exist I think…

        • Robert Guyton

          No. That's not racism, vto, that's prejudice or bias. Discrimination on the basis of race is … discrimination. Discrimination is not racism. Racism has a specific, particular meaning. That's the rub!

          • vto

            Well I completely disagree and you have proved my point Robert. Here is the simple online definition of racism "prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism by an individual, community, or institution against a person or people on the basis of their membership of a particular racial or ethnic group, typically one that is a minority or marginalized"

            It runs completely counter to your explanation, which is incomprehensible.

            The left has lost this issue.

            Is why Seymour did what he did.

            • Robert Guyton

              See in your definition, vto, where it says, "typically one that is a minority or marginalised"? Racism is, in my understanding, not something that "flows up", that is, the minority race can't be racist toward the majority race, the colonised can't be racist toward the colonisers. What they can be is prejudiced or discriminatory, but not racist. This is my sincere understanding. On what point do you not agree?

              • vto


                That a minority cannot be racist is laughable.

                This is another area within this issue that the left gets nowhere on, nowhere at all, and imo the left will continue to fail here until its approach and argument is changed.

                Perhaps… rather than try and change the definition of racism, maybe come up with another term for that particular type of racism… and maybe acknowledge that maori can be racist just like pakeha can be racist.

                Keep in mind my point is about the left failing on this issue, not my own particular views on it.

                Do you think the left is winning here?

                • Robert Guyton

                  Again, I think the definition of the word "racism" is important. If the definition is that racism works from the top down; that it's a feature of domination, and that different words (prejudice, discrimination) describe similar behaviours in the dominated race group, then it's no good railing against the subtlety of language. Have you really looked at the issue this way, vto?

                  Edit: wikipedia offers: ” Thus, racism can be broadly defined to encompass individual and group prejudices and acts of discrimination that result in material and cultural advantages conferred on a majority or a dominant social group.[34] So-called “white racism” focuses on societies in which white populations are the majority or the dominant social group. In studies of these majority white societies, the aggregate of material and cultural advantages is usually termed “white privilege”.

                  This is a difficult shift to make but I'm pretty confident that it's the case, awkward though it seems.

                  • vto

                    When a 'majority' person is subjected to racist abuse, for example, from a 'minority' person they aren't concerned about dominance or such, they are simply upset that somebody abused them because of their race. They see that as racism because that abuse was based on race. And it fits within definitions.

                    The left has no answer to this, as your responses are amply showing.

                    To run a narrative in politics it needs to be simple and clear. The lefts position (as in your comments above) are neither simple nor clear. And so the left loses this debate.

                    The left has lost this debate.

                    The vast majority of the country sees lawful entitlements based on race as racism.

                    Good luck trying this issue on as you outline in the next election

                    • Robert Guyton

                      12 September 2021 at 9:07 am

                      "When a 'majority' person is subjected to racist abuse, for example, from a 'minority' person…" it's called discrimination. I agree with you, when you say the person being subjected to the abuse won't bother with the definitions, but we are discussing terms and meanings here, so we can rein-in our emotional reactions and pin-down the truth of the matter. As to "trying this issue …in the next election", I'll not be trying anything at all, being less-than a bit-player in national politics 🙂

    • mac1 15.2

      What an indictment of a number of NZers. Now, Gosman, what is your position in this issue of a country that takes stock of where its citizens are being under-serviced and accordingly takes action?

      Are you going to advocate against the positive discrimination involved in ensuring first the medically needy, then the elderly, got first dibs on the vaccine?

      If you disagreed with Seymour, are you going to say that, or excuse him by offering the wisdom that there are always going to be the bigots and the foolish?

      Is there an acceptable practice of positive discrimination based on other than ethnicity? Who would those recipients be?

      Has the leader of the ACT party and his supporters ever addressed the racism within the NZ Health system? I received that wisdom from a senior oncologist who knew the figures.

      Māori are less well served by our health system and positive discrimination addresses that. “To each according to their need.”

      As an older person I appreciate that. I even appreciate people standing up for me on a bus….

    • woodart 15.3

      sources gosman? give us these numbers you speak of. dont make claims without proof.

    • Ad 15.4

      Seymour's move was timid compared to Don Brash's Orewa speech 13 years ago.

      If he wants more, Seymour needs to show he's ready to reach for the 20% bar.

      Next poll I'm predicting:

      Labour 36

      National 24

      Act 16

      Greens 11


    • Tricledrown 15.5

      Gosman Seymour is a fringe politician who has moderated his parties fanatical adherence to extreme policy.

      His latest outbursts have been lambasted by most people including mainstream media.Tova Obrien included who takes no prisoners in her interviews Labour /National ..Has called Seymour a Cockwomble.The days of Maori bashing are coming to an end look around our country Maori language is being used more widely and adopted to main stream.

      People like it ie Waka Kotahi sounds better than the long winded NZTA. Most broadcasters are using Maori language introductions etc.Maori language is being pronounced properly these days.

      We have our only living hero a VC recipient many TV presenters are Maori who speak more clearly and articulate better.The dinosaurs of Brashes era are disappearing.

      Collins Orewa moment at the Queenstown National party restart was a complete disaster.

      MMP means the harder right Seymour goes makes it more difficult for National to pick up the moderate swing vote.

      His nasty stance on Maori health will be looked at by our polynesian voters and they will turn out to vote in large numbers against this cheap nasty idiot .

      • Gezza 15.5.1

        Good comment. I agree with that. And teachers are going to be required to get even more au fait with Maori culture & possibly the language as a requirement from next year, aren't they? Is it next year?

        I watch quite a bit of Maori tv (they have some very interesting documentaries & good choices of movies) … & sometimes Te Karere. Most of it doesn't have English subtitles, but some items do, including interviews with nga koro & nga kuia talking about their nga rohe & just chatting about life in their marae – & I think Te Karere replayed late at night does.

        To listen to Maori reporters, interviews, guests, all speaking fluent te reo makes me realise how dumb I am. I do try to teach myself a bit at home, but I'm never going to develop sufficient fluency to be able to hold even a basic conversation with a fluent speaker. The syntax & "grammar" is so utterly & completely different from any European languages it's a major challenge to get your head around full sentences.

        • Robert Guyton

          " au fait with Maori culture" that's pretty funny!

          • Gezza

            I suppose it is. For some reason I had a sudden mental blank for the right English word so just chucked that in and moved on. indecision

            • Robert Guyton

              Gezza, if you have any desire at all to enter the reo learning stream, my advice to you is; learn to pronounce well. Don't concern yourself with conversational Maori language, learning lots and lots of kupu Maori, or constructing a mihi, pepeha or karakia mo te kai, just learn to pronounce a few important words. That's the key. Practice with street names. Move up to place names, then the names of well-known Maori people. Get the pronunciation right and you will reap rewards you aren't yet aware are on offer 🙂

              • Gezza

                I've been working my way through these, Robert. They cover lots of kupu hou, and place names, & simple conversations, common phrases, greetings, pronouns etc.


                Fascinating to learn that personal pronouns like ia mean he or she. They're not gender specific. I go through the tests and exercises.

                They show this series on Maori tv in the late mornings. I was searching for any online material & recognised Toku Reo from the telly.

                Your other suggestions also look good to me, thanks.

                Pronunciation has never been a problem. I've a good ear for audio lingual learning and I learned Latin for a couple of years before dropping it for History. Same vowel sounds.

                • Robert Guyton

                  Nice and I agree with regards ia – fits very well into the present discussions around gender/sex-sensitive titles. Another indicator of the languages elegance is wā &wāhi for "time" and "space/place. Our equivalents are words with an unclear linguistic connection where the kupu are clearly from the same source. Elegant. This however, is my own thinking; I've not read confirmation of the idea, so could be wrong 🙂

                  • Gezza

                    Yep. Te Reo Māori seems chock full of concept-words that have either no exact equivalent in English, or multiple different equivalents, depending on exact context & position in sentences,

                    And many kupu that have no corresponding English language function. Like ko, or haere mai, for example. I thought haere mai meant come here or come to me. But haere actually means to go, or to move. Mai means towards me, in my direction.

                    The Verb Subject Object sentence structure is awkward to learn when there are so many other kupu that must be used as parts of sentences that are juxtaposed between them.

                    As with many languages it has many kupu that are essential to understand to begin to grasp the different way Māori perceive our relationship to people & the world, and the universe.

      • Forget now 15.5.2

        If anything, I think that it'll be the Māori Party that has a rise in the polls, and they won't be at all keen to work with; ACT, or National, in any future government. There'll probably be a Roy Morgan poll in a fortnight if none others published before then (knowing the polling agency helps guesstimating the results), so I predict:

        • 6 (+/-1)% undecided (excluding which)
        • 40 (+/-3)% Labour
        • 27 National
        • 12 (+/-1)% Green
        • 12 ACT
        • 4 Māori
        • 5 Other


        Also, it's Māori Language Week from 13-19th during that polling period.

  16. Adrian 16

    Interestingly even some hardline attitudes may be changing a little. A neighbouring couple, ACT voters, one for sure, but Arden admirers for the Covid response used to complain about any use of Te Reo, my reply was for them to consider that maybe a language that had been used here for 1000 years may well deserve to be recognised and treated as such. I’m sure my gentle exhortations would have had little effect but the attitude has recently subtly changed along the lines of not minding the greetings and salutations but that some of the introductions go on for too long. It’s progress I suppose, but I too have noticed this trend and it does seem to possibly be more likely to come from presenters who are new to Te Reo and may be a bit of showing off, but then one would not expect a TV presenter to be a show off surely!

  17. Policy Parrot 17

    I seriously doubt whether Seymour is actually racist – remembering that libertarians worship at the altar of extreme individualism – and I posit that he probably personally agrees with the concept of priority access for Maori (especially considering the fact that is a Maori-led initiative intended for Maori but not exclusively so).

    But this in is fact a stunt intended to get media attention. And it has worked for him. Even though appalling, the best response is to ignore or not comment on it because doing so simply gives it more life.

    • Tricledrown 17.1

      Seymour has been quietly dog whistling the far right for some time.I doubt if he would have any over for tea any time soon.

      Given most don't do personal hygiene are involved in nasty gangs and don't want gun control so they can steal guns even if they have a serial no.

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