Wednesday, February 06, 2008

joy and sorrow

Waitangi Day
It's that time of the year again, our annual national whinge-fest. Skimming the local web, I see numerous bloggers kvetching about race relations. Delightful! What was once traditionally the domain of Maori has now become mainstream. Without even realising it, everyone's practicing Maori culture. Celebrate bi-culturalism! So let me join the grumpy crowd and add my unhappy 2 cents worth. What do you think? Are you tired of complaining Maori protesters? Do you cringe at their endless grievances? Are you well and truly sick of it? Then pull out your barf bags, coz here's some more.

[Cue: fierce posture dancing with intimidatory gestures, rolling eyes and protruding tongues]

Maoris face considerable hardships. Even in cyberspace. Especially in cyberspace. Examples:

# SPAM. If news reports are correct, online NZers are currently awash with spam. Lucky for some! I'd like to know why my email inbox hasn't been bombarded with junk messages? Are Maoris not worthy of unsolicited ads for viagra? Are spammers deliberately ignoring us?
Discrimination? Obviously.

# FRAUD. In all my years of on-line banking, not once has anyone hacked into my account (admittedly there's not much to steal). But that's not the point. Is my money not worth as much as the white man's?
Bigotry? Of course.

# VIRUSES. Everyday, thousands of NZ computers are attacked by swarms of viruses, trojans, rootkits and worms. Except mine, that is. Why is that, do you suppose? Are rogue computer programmers anti-Maori? Are the viruses themselves hostile to ethnic-minority computers?
Prejudice? I think so.

# IDENTITY THEFT. We've all heard scary tales of identity theft on the web. People having their online personalities appropriated. How come nobody's stolen mine? Is my identity 2nd-class and unworthy of being seized?
Racism? Must be!

Yes, Waitangi Day is a fitting time for protest, but also (paradoxically) for celebrations. Visitors to the top marae ground are often struck by this surreal ambivalence: at one end are angry mobs chanting, cursing, and scuffling with cops. At the other end - not more than 50 metres away - are haka performers, jubilant and festive, in both good mood and voice. And so...

[Cue: Smiling girls in swirling grass skirts performing dainty footsteps and twirling pretty poi balls]

The joys of being Maori:

# SERVICE: Never feeling neglected of waiting long to be served by retailers while shopping. The widespread reputation for thievery means being lavished with attention the moment you enter a store.

# TRUANCY. Maoris didn't invent school absenteeism, but we sure perfected it. For good reason. Can you accurately recall the finer points of trigonometry, iambic pentameter, or the periodic table? Me neither. The sad fact is most of what's learned in school is inevitably forgotten in adulthood. Maori kids wisely avoid wasting hours in classroom instruction when that precious time could be better spent acquiring real life education in practical matters like boozing (pharmacology), brawling (military strategy), or court appearances (legal studies).

# GLUTTONY: I've never been a food ascetic. Dieting sounds a real nightmare. I've never understood those living through times of economic plenty, aspiring to look like famine victims. True, it's unlikely I'll ever appear in a Hollywood movie (except perhaps as a Mexican cocaine-dealing gangbanger who inevitably ends up face down, immobile and riddled with bullets) but I accept my body's imperfections and limitations: I'll never be a basketballer as my legs are too short. I'll never be a model as my waist is too thick. I'll never be a porn star as my - ahem - is too big. But I've made peace with both God and the body He's given me. Lord help anyone who tries to come between me and my bountiful dinner plate. They'll have to pry those deep-fried donuts from my cold, dead (chubby, greased-stained) hands.

# BEING STAUNCH. What was was once called 'stoicism' - by folks enduring hardship with dignity and without falling to frail, emotional pieces at the slightest tribulation - is now maligned by wimpy boys and hysterical girls in a crybaby culture that celebrates weakness, like John Kirwan wallowing in his depression on TV ads. Hell, I'd be depressed too if deluded enough to think that humanity was inherently benevolent or that I could bawl my way to happiness. 'Staunch' is positive; emotional repression a good thing. Civilisation was built on curbing our primordial impulses. If I gave free reign to my desires, half the people I know would be dead, the other half pregnant. So harden up! Life is crap - get used to it. Get real, get tough, and just get on with it!

# ANTAGONISM: Perhaps my urban upbringing and overcrowded city lifestyle predisposes me to misanthropy, but I find other people supremely annoying. Fortunately, Maori culture is not well understood by many, so I can make crap up all the time and use it to my advantage.

Antagonising left-wingers: I love feigning offence around lefties, citing something they said or did to be culturally insenstive. The trick is to act hurt and immediately depart before any apologies or explanantions can be given. It leaves them feeling vaguely guilty about something they don't quite understand, and you have the mischievous satisfaction knowing you've unnecessarily ruined their good mood.

Antagonising right-wingers: Anytime some pest bugs me with their presence, I start waffling on about ancestors, demi-gods or tribal customs, while keeping a straight face. It's complete twaddle, of course, but those folk - thinking you're a real weirdo - retreat and leave you alone. And that's all you really want, isn't it? - to get pesky busybodies out of your face.

So there ya go, folks. The good & bad, the ups & downs, the yin & yang of Waitangi. Have a (un)happy day!


Anonymous said...

I'm sold.

Paapere said...

Found you cos you were the only other blogger here with Nga Moteatea in your list of fav books! You're funny, I got a great giggle out of this post. Thanks heaps.

Wingate said...


Criticism- International equity expert Professor Paul Finn has underlined, “the most fundamental fiduciary relationship in our society is manifestly that which exists between the community (the people) and the state, its agencies and officials. “

Many suggest the basic problem of stopping Human Rights violations and political negligence stems from the lack of understanding by media and politicians on the laws of fiduciary control. In equity fiduciary control suggests obligations that not only comprise of duties of good faith and loyalty, but also include duties of skill and competence in managing the people's interests. After all, Government is a trust structure created by people to manage certain services within society with the politicians depended on by the people to do that task. Therefore the relationship between government and it's politicians and the governed is clearly a fiduciary one.

Rules such as Sovereign Immunity and Crown and Judicial Immunity are now being targeted as the very tools of oppression that are preventing victims from taking action against the people controlling the country who are causing the failure of care. Originating from within the Courts of Equity, the fiduciary concept was partly designed to prevent those holding positions of power from abusing their authority.

This new thinking suggests anyone accepting any political or government control over the interests of people should be judged by the most exacting fiduciary standards given politicians are the most important fiduciaries in any society given they hold power over the people with power that comes from the people through elections. The fiduciary relationship arises from the government and it's politicians ability to control people with the exercise of that power. In effect the argument is, if politicians have the power to abolish or ignore any rights they should be burdened with the fiduciary duty to protect people's rights because the government (or others engaging politicians on their behalf) would benefit from the exercise of discretion to extinguish rights which it alone had the power to dispose of.


All judges must sign a judicial oath which is a fiduciary undertaking or a promise of duty of care. Yet the moment it is signed, the judge is protected with judicial immunity which prevents anyone from testing the obligation the judge undertook in the oath. Arguments against the judicial immunity say this law is allowing judges a special method of escape for claims for breach of fiduciary duty which is something no other fiduciary apart from politicians can obtain.

Quote- Australian businessman Christopher Wingate says the only way to control politicians and judges is to make them accountable to a constitutional grand jury- "We all need a new common law which allows a person the right to review the finality his government/judiciary have imposed on him. If that is heard by a jury then we will have accountability. Until then we have nothing as the politicians and judges in each and every country will hide their failings." Wingate says accountability can be forced on them by flooding existing political parties and demand immunity laws are removed- " Idiots in power will continue as long as they are allowed power to cover-up their wrong doing."

Rob Good said...

Start blogging again.

Anonymous said...

I agree with ROB GOOD - Start blogging again - but block WINGATE first - if they are so damm lazy they have to cut and past SOMEONE ELSE'S literary dribble they don't deserve to be allowed to comment - lazy ass

Tihei Maori ora

Christopher Wingate said...

little miss opinionated said... total crap... If you know what you were talking about fool you would know what I write is original..bloody idiots like you just piss me off with your ignorance. You know shit but just have to blab