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Wee gripes: 2 of 3

Written By: - Date published: 3:52 pm, July 16th, 2009 - 30 comments
Categories: Deep stuff - Tags:

Maori unemployment is ballooning day by day but the most important thing that Maori Affairs Minister Sharples can spend his time on is debating which flag will fly on the Harbour Bridge next Waitangi Day.

“Having a flag under which Maori can rally under is really, really, really important. And people might see it as a shallow thing but the reality is we do not fly our flag. So you see it’s about recognition and a chance for us to have our own flag. And the respect it will give and the mana it will give back to Maori is vital” [MP3 here. Opens in new window].

You don’t need a job! Some flag will solve all your problems! Cobblers.

If Sharples was doing something about unemployment at the same time, I wouldn’t have a problem but he’s not.

Also saying ‘really, really, really’ doesn’t make your argument any stronger. Just shows how weak it is.

30 comments on “Wee gripes: 2 of 3”

  1. Tigger 1

    Z, didn’t you hear, the recession is over? Mr Key told me. Unemployment will magically reverse, the economy will jump into the black and lions will lie down with lambs.

    So what is the process after the hui? A vote? A show of hands? Is it majority? Consensus? What the Maori Party want?

    • Lanthanide 1.1

      Unemployment is a “lagging indicator”, so that’s why it’s going to keep rising over the next few months, even though we’re ostensibly coming out of the recession.

      So how long until that excuse stops working I wonder?

  2. snoozer 2

    So his argument basically boils down to ‘having a flag is important because it’s a chance to have our own flag’

    I’m not against Maori deciding on a common flag but I would have hoped that the Minister for Maori Affairs was concerntrating on biger things.

    He does realise that this is only the flag that will be flown on the Auckland Harbour Bridge on Waitangi Day, eh?

    Seems like a hell of a lot of effort to be going to for a bit of cloth on a bridge when there are real people’s livelihoods at stake in the real world.

  3. Zet, my pseudonymous mate, how really really true.
    Sharples is losing scruples whilst playing positional power play marbles with the BigBoys.
    captcha for crissakes: insist.

  4. So Bored 4

    Its worse than that, Sharples and party are more and more like the lairds who were prepared to sell the crofters down the drain,,,,,so long as they retained the assetts, They are the brown big boys, and if you are urban tangatawhenua with no iwi and no hapu links you can expect sweet f.a. from them. Except for hand wringing visits when you are national news.

  5. lukas 5

    I am just amazed that not one of The Standard writers has remembered what John Key said about the flag in 2007. He was clearly opposed to the tino rangatiratanga flag being flown, it now seems as if this is going to be the flag that will be flown.

    http://lukewebster.wordpress.com/2009/07/14/maori-flag/ has the relevant links.

    • poptart 5.1

      Funny. He really will say whatever’s expedient at the time eh? I don’t think the man holds a single principle he wouldn’t sell out the moment it became inconvenient.

      I mean he’s got the basic right-wing political and economic instincts you’d expect of a man who’s amassed a great fortune on the trading room floor, but I just don’t see any beliefs or principles in the man.

  6. Anita 6

    Sharples is right; unifying symbols will help Māori address their other grievances. He clearly says that the flag will provide a rallying point, not that it is an end in itself.

    • Zetetic 6.1

      A rallying point for what?

      Rallying points don’t put bread on the table.

      Not objecting to the flag. No-one is. Priorities.

  7. bobo 7

    I have no problem with a Maori flag on Waitangi day on the bridge but the whole thing has the feel of trinkets given out by the Nats and why there needs to be so much time given to debating which flag to use over more pressing issues such as what will get Maori into interim work, or training until the economy picks up is beyond me. Maybe now Maori own most of NZ forests an academy could be set up to look at training in that sector and high value products that could be researched & developed is more what Sharples should be pushing for, its always been a dumb economy of exporting logs.

    Talking of retraining what kinds of jobs will the recovery when it happens need, I see Obama on the news pushing retraining for the new economy but what types of jobs are they?

  8. How dare Maori decide what’s important to them … why don’t they just get back in their place and let Labour decide for them??

    It’s almost impossible to keep up with all the flip flops since Orewa but seriously, doesn’t Labour need the odd potential coalition partner?

    • Quoth the Raven 8.1

      It’s not Maori deciding what’s important to them it’s the Maori party – vast difference.

      • Ugerzip 8.1.1

        If the maoris for some reason do not want to make a party of theyre own then its theyre problem.The maori party is doing way more for maoris then labour anyway so you should be glad

        • Marty G

          What is the MP doing?

          Saving jobs? No

          Supporting a govt that’s slashing Maori workers’ rights? Yes

          • Tigger

            The MP was never necessarily a natural ally for Labour. They are inherently conservative. Look at their stance on other Left or union issues – it is often seriously at odds with Labour’s stand.

            This was hightlighted to me recently Turia’s seeming support in making HIV a notifiable disease (it will have no benefit and instead will stop people getting tested – the one thing we don’t want to have happen). Her position is kneejerk right-wing – who wants to be in a coalition with that?

            I was always embarrassed about Clark’s ‘last cab off the rank’ comment but the longer the MP is in government the more sense it makes to me.

    • Wayne 8.2

      Plus, the post doesn’t say anything about the merits of the flag. It’s about Sharples’ complete lack of priorities. Being Maori, I’d rather have a job. The flag can wait.

    • Zetetic 8.3

      Don’t try to make this about ethnicity daveski. It’s about a minister’s priorities.

      Resorting to playing the race card is the mark of someone who doesn’t have an argument.

      • Daveski 8.3.1

        Give it a break Z

        What a crock comment. Sharples is undertaking this as part of his role as Minister of Maori affairs.

        Resorting to dumb comments is the mark of someone who doesn’t have a clue.

        • snoozer

          So? Zet is criticising the actions and priorities of one minister, who happens to be minister for Maori Affairs. You tried to make it into a racial thing by writing:

          “How dare Maori decide what’s important to them why don’t they just get back in their place and let Labour decide for them”

          It was a nasty move by you and totally uncalled for.

          • Daveski

            You think that’s nasty, you should get out more and stop snoozing 🙂 Either that or look up irony.

            Z accused me of playing the race card. It was another of Z’s crap posts which is more about getting a reaction than anything else.

            The flag is clearly of symbolic importance to Maori. Why should you, me, Z, or anyone else try to tell Maori what’s important to them.

            The other point Z and others consistently overlook is I don’t see how telling Maori what they should be doing helps build coalition partners. Under Key, National seems to have learnt this lesson.

            • snoozer

              1) Don’t conflate Maori and the Maori Party. It’s bordering on racist and insulting. Have you forgotten that actually most Maori voted Labour last election?

              2) Zet is attacking the actions and opinions of one man because that man is spending his time on deciding a flag when there are things that IMO and clearly Zet’s matter a whole lot more like people losing their jobs.

              No-one’s saying that Moari shouldn’t have a flag.

              3) You’re getting close to a kind of PC moral relativism whereby no-one can criticise anyone for doing anything because they’re doing what ‘really, really, really’ matters to them.

              If Zet thinks the Minister for Maori Affairs should have bigger things on his plate than deciding which flag flies over a bridge for one day in a year then they’ve every right to voice that opinion without you trying to play the race card to silence them.

            • Daveski

              I’m not into flame wars but if you start calling me borderline racist then I have every right to get enflamed.

              It’s ludicrous that all I’m saying is that the Minister, his party and a decent chunk of Maori can decide what’s important to them and yet YOU accuse me of being racist.

              I’m not afraid of criticism – shit, if I was, I wouldn’t come here. But to be called a racist for saying Maori can have an opinion takes some beating.

            • Maynard J

              Daveski – maybe the point is not so much that Maori should not be allowed to decide something that is clearly important to some of them, but that an elected representative who purports to have Maori interests at heart should have a higher priority than a flag, and that Maori interests could be better represented if his efforts were directed elsewhere.

              That is how I took it. In that light, your “How dare Maori decide what’s important to them why don’t they just get back in their place and let Labour decide for them??” seems pretty specious and trite.

              Do you not honestly think Sharples could focus on more important issues, or is that your view, that he should focus on some symbolism (note I do not deny it may be seen as a fairly important piece of symbolism) instead of making a real damn difference? I hope not, and that you are being contrary simply for the sake of it.

            • Daveski


              Good points and I put my hand up that I let Z do what he does best and that is wind me up. As you noted, my “specious comment” didn’t help.

              The suggestion that Sharples only focus is on the flag is ludicrous and really that should have been the response. Based literally on the comments before Sharples and the MP should not have been involved with the Auckland super city hui because that is not about jobs.

              Sharples does have a tendency to fly kites (and flags) but that’s part of both his role and the opportunity he has been given.

              If all Sharples delivers to Maori is a flag then I’d happily agree with you. That’s what Z implies and that’s what I responded to.

              And I’m apparently a racist for supporting Maori 🙂

            • Maynard J

              Interesting point about the supercity – I guess that and the flag issue are both about “representation” 🙂 But I see one as more important than the other – actual versus symbolic.

              I will steer clear of the racisim calls because it is not a comment I would make in this case (regarding Maori vs Maori Party). I think interest in the flag does go beyond just the interest of the Maori Party, perhaps that is where you two are not seeing eye-to-eye.

              This is a high-profile action by Sharples, and of course he must be doing other things, but remember he is part of a Government doing very little to “take the rough edges of the recession”, and Maori are disproportionally affected.

  9. bobo 9

    I know I talk alot of crap but the Maori Party really appear to have become National’s cheap date not being more vocal over rising unemployment , Hone Harawira has not asked any questions in the house during question time ive noticed the last few months almost as if to distance himself from the Gov, could just be me imagining that ?

  10. outofbed 10

    wee gripes ?
    may I suggest an antibiotic ?

  11. Zetetic 11


  12. StephenR 12

    1) Don’t conflate Maori and the Maori Party. It’s bordering on racist and insulting.

    The MP seem to do exactly that every time they open their mouths – ‘our people’, ‘doing what’s good for Maori’ etcetera.

    2) Zet is attacking the actions and opinions of one man because that man is spending his time on deciding a flag when there are things that IMO and clearly Zet’s matter a whole lot more like people losing their jobs.

    He should be attacked. Great move by Key to get Maori/the MP to waste time on this issue, neutralises any attempts at ‘policy making’ by the looks.

  13. randal 13

    pita is a plonka.
    he is becoming adept at sowing confusion and getting people to squabble over trivialities and never addressing the vital issues.
    he also seems to have aquired the ken mair disease of purposely p*ssing of pakehas which again just adds to the confusion.
    he thinks he’s being funny but he is not.

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