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Friday, 26 January 2018

And now, a few words from the new spokesperson for the Chinese Embassy and McDonalds: Bill English

Daily Blah- 26th Jan 2018

At a moderately attended press conference yesterday, leader of the opposition and former prime minister of New Zealand, Bill English, announced his new role as spokesperson for the Chinese embassy and fast food giant Mcdonalds.

Speaking from the steps of 6 Glenmore Street in the upmarket Wellington suburb of Kelburn Mr English outlined his new duties as embassy and corporate spokesperson which would consist of promoting the views and opinions of the Chinese government and the fast food conglomerate to the public of New Zealand.

“This is a great opportunity and I am proud to have accepted these roles” Mr English gushed “I have looked to both Xi Jinping [the president of China] and Ronald McDonald for years, their leadership styles have been models for my own and the similarities between Dipton, Beijing and the Ball Pool at happy land are amazingly close so I think that has helped me get in tune with my inner Chinese and inner Clown.”

When questioned if his work for the Chinese Embassy or McDonalds might conflict with his role as leader of the opposition and member of Parliament Mr English looked confused before responding that it had “not been a problem in the past” when he was the Prime Minister “so it should not be a problem now”.

Fingering his Mao Tse Tung lapel pin, while dressed in a clown suit and flanked by members of the Blue Dragons Mr English pledged to “return New Zealand to its Marxist roots” and emphasised the need “to build New Zealand with franchise characteristics” before being escorted back into the embassy while 2 for 1 vouchers for happy meals were handed out to the crowd.

The above situation has not played out exactly as in our mock media release but for all intents and purposes the above happened this week when Bill English went into bat for his constituents (the Chinese government) by arguing that the ban on foreign home buyers would not be compatible with Chinese interests  and New Zealand’s trade agreement with China AND avidly defending McDonalds when referring to Labour's repeal of the 90 day contract law.

And it’s nice to see Bill being consistent in his undermining of New Zealand’s sovereignty, as both Prime Minister and leader of the opposition, while continuing to shill for the Chinese and corporate interests over average Kiwis.

But then again what’s new in this situation; National might as well move their party headquarters to Beijing or Oak Brook, Illinois and just be done with it given how connected the party is with Chinese and foreign interests.

If it’s not the JinYang spy scandal, still bubbling away, it’s just the fact that China wields a lot of influence in NZ and is not shy about it OR its NZ labor laws set up with no real reason but for exploitation of workers; and the conclusion that most would draw from watching these antics is that Bill and National are clearly puppets for parties other than the NZ public.

I suppose that in some ways it must be hard as leader of the opposition in the first term of a new government. Clearly all the wind has been sucked out of Nationals sails as Bill has been uttering all manner of statements to any reporter willing to listen for weeks now in increasingly desperate attempts to get oxygen for the party and its cause*. However, as he is no longer in the position to make deals for access he has ended up being reduced to desperately shilling his services like some demented Suzanne Paul via ongoing petty point scoring in the media.

Of course, some might argue that is what the Opposition does, and has to do, when out of power but its helps when the political alignment of statements are for the country you happen to be a member of. So unless Bill has Chinese passport in his back pocket (and at this time I would not put it past him or at least 50% of National to have one) then these kind of statements ring petty treasonous.

It also helps when your shilling for "the Man" aligns with what "the Man' is thinking and his other comments recently about the repeal of the odious 90 days contract law and how it will affect McDonalds ability to employ staff was immediately refuted by McDonalds itself; who obviously did not want to hitch their wagon to the struggling engine of National and the B team**.

And it’s the blatant language and angle of Bills utterances that has motivated me to write this post as its becoming clear that Bill is desperately doing what he can to prop up his flagging popularity in the preferred PM stakes. In one case it’s sucking up to China like there is no tomorrow (and no shortage of chapstik) or cuddling up to McDonalds (possibly in the hope of free hamburgers) only to have his clingy advances brutally rebuffed.

Lobbying for your constituents is one thing but when your constituents are foreign powers or multi national corporations that's another.

But as I have said before, Bills days are numbered and he knows this. He has failed to lead the party to victory in two elections now and I severely doubt that the National brain trust is willing to gamble a third time on the Dip from Dipton when the rise of Jacinda has shown what a fresh face can do for a party’s fortunes.

And in that frame of mind I am suggesting the same thing to National for Bill that I did for Labour last year in regards to Andrew Little; put the aged hack out to pasture while there is still time and get to work on re-building the party with someone younger, smarter and more resonant with the public***.

I was right about Andrew and I am right about Bill.

*-which may be characterized as riches for the rich and death to the poor while corralling the middle class through manipulating things like the property market to hide the fact that wealth disparity and inequality in this country are rising
**-Although I do find it amusing to imagine McDonalds choosing to employ recently stomach stapled Paula Bennett as some sort of Jarrod Foggle like spokes person for the slimming benefits of their healthy choice menu
***-Like Jin Yang for instance


  1. Where do you stand on the question of foreign influence in general, as distinct from Chinese influence in particular?
    Do you see the "Jian Yang spy scandal" as being fundamentally more concerning than the "Peter Thiel spy scandal"? If so, why?
    Do you approve of the New Zealand parliament's submission to the sovereignty of the British crown? Do you support the New Zealand state's deference to the global hegemony of the United States of America, as evidenced by NZ military support for U.S. wars in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan etc?
    Have you considered the argument that the interests of New Zealand capitalists are now so dependent on Chinese immigration, trade and investment (including residential property purchases) that in lobbying for the Chinese, Bill English is actually lobbying for New Zealand business and property owners?
    Are you convinced that the Jacinda Ardern and the Labour Party can or will actually do anything to reverse the trend to foreign ownership and control of the New Zealand economy which has been proceeding at a steady, if not breakneck pace, since the end of the Muldoon era?

  2. Hi Geoff:

    Thats a bit of a broadside of questions there so I will answer short and sharp and you can seek clarification as you need rather than I max out the word limit.

    1. I am not a big fan of foreign influence in any way shape or form
    2. I did not realize that there was a Peter Theil Spy scandal
    3. Can you expand a bit more on what you mean by that: do you mean we are taking order form London?
    4. No I do not support NZ getting involved in US hegemony
    5. I have considered that idea but if thats is the case then Bill and National should be honest about it: As a whole if we are that dependent on China then we have a problem
    6. I'm a realist so I don't expect Jacinda to slam the door shut and I know that foreign ownership in NZ is a lot bigger than the media lets on (the Listener did a good article on it years back and since then I have kept my eyes open) but I do wish to see them swing the pendulum back the other way, if only to the middle rather than all the way to the other extreme

    1. 1. I take that to mean you are just as concerned about US, UK or Australian influence upon New Zealand politics and that you are not picking on China to the exclusion of other sources of influence.
      2. Peter Thiel is a joint German/US national who operates the Palantir surveillance system and collaborates closely with the New Zealand SIS and GCSB to carry out mass political surveillance of New Zealand citizens, with the information gained being passed on to the CIA/NSA and ultimately made available to the US targeted killing program (with fatal consequences for at least one New Zealand citizen in recent years). Thiel was granted New Zealand citizenship by the Key/English government to allow him full access to all SIS and GCSB data. None of that may be considered scandalous. What is scandalous is the official deceit surrounding the case - the Rt Hon Bill English claiming that he "could not remember" the content of his discussions with Mr Thiel, and the pretence that Mr Thiel was given New Zealand citizenship so that he could act as an "ambassador" for New Zealand. When a government lies to its people I personally consider that to be a scandal.
      3. The New Zealand Sovereign Head of State is the British monarch, Elizabeth Windsor to whom all New Zealand Members of Parliament are required to pledge allegiance. My question was whether you support that arrangement of New Zealand sovereignty and that requirement upon New Zealand politicians.
      4. Good. We are in accord on that.
      5. The New Zealand economy depends very much on its two way trade with China (though not quite to the extent that it depended on trade with Britain and Australia through the twentieth century). Consequently, the New Zealand state endeavours not to offend China. There is nothing unusual in that. New Zealand mindlessly followed Britain into four twentieth century imperial wars for much the same reason (although considerations of common ethnicity also played a part in those decisions). If you want to reduce the risk of trade considerations influencing domestic politics and foreign relations you have two options. 1. Reduce your dependence on imports and exports. 2. Spread your trade as evenly as possible among many other nations. Then you will have less of a "problem".
      6. I don't see any prospect of the Labour-led government eliminating foreign investment from the New Zealand economy. If it was able to reduce foreign investment and control from, say, 50% to 25% over the the next decade that would be a remarkable and welcome achievement. Of course we should be wary of assuming that increasing domestic investment and control from 50% to 75% of the total would materially benefit ordinary working class New Zealanders. It might, but on the other hand it might not.

    2. 1 - correct
      2 - do you have something to back that up as why does he need to be made a citizen so his company can do business in NZ?
      3 - see my question/statement below
      4 - sweet
      5 - China can be quite nasty in its trade practices as we have seen before and putting all the eggs in one basket (as you have noted) is not a good idea.
      6 - perhaps not eliminate but reduce (as we have already seen). At some point foreign ownership will (if not already) have a subversive effect on this country, thats one lesson from history I do subscribe to.
      6a - This is as close to NZ First as I get in my views but if we don't own our country then we don't own our country, simple as that

  3. "1. I am not a big fan of foreign influence in any way shape or form"

    Can you expand on this

    1. Like I said I like sovereignty but I am realistic enough to accept that we have to bow to it sometimes and that our history/culture and alliances also play an influencing part in our lives but even with that I like the idea of being as near as possible to a sovereign nation state and not some satellite of a foreign power.

      I'm proud of NZ's nuclear stance and women suffrage and how we bucked trends and foreign influence and made our own way on those matters.

  4. Sure, I believe in national sovereignty and not always being beholden to the whims of greater powers just because they are a major trading partner or alliance partner etc.

    More specifically in regards to this post I don't like foreign powers (or individuals or corporations) attempting to influence our government in ways which subvert our sovereignty and put citizens behind those powers in the scheme of things.

  5. Does "our sovereignty" mean the sovereignty of Queen Elizabeth II, her heirs and successors according to law, over the Realm of New Zealand?
    Is Britain a foreign power?
    What kinds of influence are acceptable, and which "subvert.. sovereignty"?
    Can you give examples of how foreign influence has been used to "put citizens behind those powers in the scheme of things"? Are you suggesting that the PRC somehow used its influence to gain a winnable place on the National Party parliamentary election list for Jian Yang?

    1. I'm aware that you are not down with the idea of references to the Queen and the UK but when I swore my oath on joining the military and had to include the Queen in it I realized that it was not something that was of any significant bearing as NZ was no longer going to fly off and do what England was doing just because England was doing it.

      So I don't really care if there any any verbal fiction in such thing, just like I don't mind swearing on the bible when I take an oath etc.

      As for your other question about influence I would answer that when its clear and open I am OK with it but when its secret and subversive I am not. NZ is a small nation we cant always go it alone and alliances are part and parcel of the modern world and influence can come with that. I might not always agree with the choice but if its clear and we can at least make moves to address or change it.

      And I'm not going to give examples of subverting sovereignty here but suggest you check out how foreign security services had placed moles in both UK and US intelligence services and governments over the last 100 years. There are plenty of examples and par for the course. Philby, Blunt and McLean are good starters.

      And as for Jin Yang there are only three scenarios for his current position as a MP in parliament at this time: 1- Spy without NZ knowledge until now; or 2- Spy with National Party knowledge at start; or 3 - Spy without National party knowledge due to bad screening by the third party. Take you pic

    2. 1. If you don't mind indulging in a little verbal fiction yourself, perhaps you could have been a little less quick to condemn Jian Yang for his own verbal fiction.
      2. The influence of New Zealand's allies - Australia, the UK and the US - is exercised through diplomatic channels, discussions between officials, and discussions between ministers, and most of it is never allowed to come to public notice. Very little is "clear and open". The influence of powers which are not allied to New Zealand cannot be effectively exercised through such channels, and so tends to take the form of public statements of the kind that the PRC periodically makes which are critical of, say, Australia's involvement in on-going U.S efforts to "contain" China. So, in general, hidden influence emanates from allies, such as the UK, US and Australia, rather than adversaries or non-aligned powers such as China, Russia or Iran for example. I guess you are suggesting that the PRC is a state in secret alliance with the National Party, and thus is able to exercise hidden influence over the National Party, and through the National Party, over the New Zealand state. Yet that case is far from proven.
      Although you now categorically state that Jian Yang is a spy working in the employ of the PRC, that allegation is also unproven. In fact there is not even a prima facie case to support the allegation. If there was, Jian Yang would be charged with espionage in a New Zealand court of law. He has not been charged. Therefore I re-affirm my own conviction that Jian Yang is the New Zealand Dreyfus, harried by the SIS and defamed by the media simply on account of his nation of origin.

    3. I dont think my verbal fiction is as dangerous as Yangs. lets be fair here, I am a grade Z political blogger and with no real access to the levers or power or positions of influence.

      If i indulge in a bit of hyperbole thats not going to do any damage except to some fragile egos.

      Yang is not indulging in Hyperbole he is just lying about his background and his proximity to the levers of power and his covert links to a less than stellar foreign power are not in the same ballpark, league or even sport.

      Lets agree to disagree on Yang, maybe he is not a spy in the pay of the PRC but he sure is heck is not the NZ Dreyfus. Ahmed Zaoui would have laid a better claim to that title than Yang.

      Zaoui was defamed, Yang has not been. Zaoui went through the legal system (trial by peer) and was exonerated, Yang has not. Zaoui never lied about his background or history, Yang most certainly has.

      These two are not comparable. If Yang is that innocent then let him front up as the loyal citizen of NZ that he is and explain why he lied and hid those details. No claiming racism or any rubbish like that but explain why he was not willing to be open about his background in China and who told him to hide it when he applied to come to NZ and OZ. If he can answer those with satisfaction I will happily reconsider my position. Until then reasonable doubt is stacked against him.

      Also back channel politics and influence do exists within our alliance structures but we are still in an alliance with those powers. We don't have that kind of alliance or relationship with China and our politics don't align either (given that China is not a democracy).

      As for containing China, yeas I don't agree with trying to contain China either but neither do I think that China is some babe in the woods here, China's desire to assert her dominance in Asia is just as odious as the US trying to assert its dominance anywhere.

    4. Anyone who has taken note of my political thought will know that I am not in sympathy with either the National Party or the Peoples Republic of China, and that there is a wide political and philosophical gulf between myself and Jian Yang. My concern is on a human level. I believe that Yang, and with him the Chinese community in New Zealand, have been caught up in a global and domestic power play.
      Many years ago Philip Woollaston, then Associate for the Environment, sent me a copy of a ministerial briefing paper in which I was denounced as a spy for the Chilean government. The Prime Minister at the time, David Lange, who I knew personally, agreed that this was an outrageous fabrication. Lange, however, could not risk calling the SIS to account for the defamation, which was just one more incident in an on-going SIS vendetta. It is clear to me that Yang is now the subject of a similar political vendetta, based on insinuation and innuendo, with no real substance to it except that like most if not all politicians (including many on the left) he has been less than forthright about his past associations and involvements.
      China is a democracy of sorts, just as the United Kingdom, the United States and New Zealand are democracies of a sort. All could improve, and all are capable of behaving badly. You might reject the Dreyfus analogy, but the fact remains that Yang, like Dreyfus, is a person from a particular national background, and of a particular ethnicity, who has become the subject of unproven allegations of espionage in the context of heightened ethnic and national tensions. Given that the whole Jian Yang saga has been driven by information planted in the media by the SIS, we need to be very careful about how we relate to the controversy. The damage that Yang could do as a spy is probably very slight. The damage that New Zealanders could do to their democracy if they allow themselves to be drawn willy-nilly into an SIS plot is, by comparison, huge.

    5. I cant comment on you being accused as a Spy for Chilie. Do you have any Chiliean connections or something?

      As for China, its is not in any way a democracy of sorts, not even kinda sorta.

      China is a one party state (a communist one) which is now bordering on a Dictatorship given how Xi Jinping is setting himself up with no successor and getting his thought enshrined with Mao's.

      China has no real human rights and lacks even basic freedoms like assembly and protest. You cant vote the government out of office and the last time people tried to protest about the lack of democracy they were shot at Tiananmen Square. Thats not sorta democracy, thats all that is not democratic.

      I get your point about the "sorta" but in the US you can still vote and remove a government from office and the level of freedom there is such that while not as good as it used to be still meets basic democratic requirements. China does not and its only its large economy that makes it an acceptable trading partner, other than that its very similar to North Korea if not so extreme but those two state sit closer on the political spectrum than The US and China.

      As for Yang, its not unproven allegations that are the issue here, his background is known and qualified by himself, its his hiding of it that's the issue here. He lied and sought to obscure his background. That's not unproven thats clear fact and that's the issue. Whats worse is the fact that he does come from China, the above mentioned non-democratic country, and given that background he is a major risk.

      The fact that people keep on trying to make this a racial issue is just camouflage. The facts speak for themselves and Yang keeps on seeking to obscure those facts. No one is calling China a threat on racial grounds and I'm not claiming for all Chinese in NZ to be rounded up and sent off to a camp so lets stop the racial coverage. Just Yang for lying and obscuring some rather concerning details of his life and background.

      Yang is a man from a state which is diametrically opposed to NZ politically and in terms of how it treats its people and ruled by a political system thats responsible for things like the great leap forward and the cultural revolution (actions which run pretty close to The Killing Fields in Cambodia)and if there is a chance that he is a spy then he deserves removal, MP or not.

      I don't always agree with how the SIS operates but the criteria for a security clearance in NZ is pretty clear and Yang does not even get near the requirements.

      If forced to choose between China and a possible SIS plot then I will take the SIS plot every time, at least it might turn out to be false. China is real and not something NZ should ever seek to politically emulate.

      If anyone else with a background like Yang's tried to do what he did then they would also be the same level of risk and concern. Spying is what it is but that does not make it any less damaging or dangerous.

    6. I had one Chilean refugee friend, but you should not seek too hard to find a justification for an allegation which the Prime Minister himself conceded was completely without foundation. It was a simple fabrication, a smear of the kind in which the SIS indulges all too often and quite cynically for its own political purposes.
      It is misguided to say that you "will take the SIS plot every time" because you don't need to do that. You can take a stand for truth and decency every time.
      People were shot in Tien An Mien square, people were shot at Kent State University, and people were shot at Maungapohatu. All states are flawed and there is no good reason why we always have to take the side of the United States (under Donald Trump) against the Peoples Republic of China (under Xi Jinping). You can come up with all sort of arguments to show that the US is good and the PRC is bad, but it is quite pointless. For sure, criticize the bad and praise the good in any state. Rectify, so far as you are able, the injustices in your own state. But beware of getting into the argument that citizens of your own country who happen to hail from a different part of the world to yourself are wicked because of their past or present associations with people or institutions in their original home country.
      No one needs a security clearance to become a member of parliament in New Zealand. Yang has fulfilled the requirements. If you want to make a security clearance a condition, then change the law. If he is to be removed under the present law he must be charged and convicted of the crime of espionage (or some other imprisonable offence). A media campaign orchestrated by the SIS does not cut the mustard.

    7. States can have their good and bad but on the larger political spectrum China is a lot closer to the bad end of the spectrum than the US.

      Civil rights and rule of law in the US are taking a beating right now so I am no defender of that but as things go China sits much further along the scale towards the bad end.

      Also is there an SIS media campaign against Jin Yang, thats a bit unusual for the SIS and if there is why, is it because that they tried to go through normal channels about Yang but were shut off by the National govt at the time and so reverted to the media.

      Again Yang's background is well outside the norms and he is not some random refugee or individual here, he is ex-trained (and trainer) of spies who has lied about his background.

      I'm not arguing for a law change but I am arguing that if any other person, MP or otherwise in his position came up with the same background and story they would also be a risk, Yang is almost secondary to this argument except for the personal details.

      Imagine if the same situation occurred in China, ex-SIS person became an MP (if they had them) and joined the communist party while keeping his/her background secret, I imagine that the Chinese would have some questions.

  6. Is the New Zealand Head of State Queen Elizabeth "in the scheme of things" in New Zealand? Is Elizabeth Windsor in any way "behind" the British government? Did the British state use its influence, historically or otherwise, to secure to her the position of New Zealand Head of State? If the answer to all those questions is in the affirmative, will you campaign to have her booted out?

    1. Are you suggesting that the Queen is actually running the British government and not just a ceremonial head of state?

    2. I was asking questions, not making suggestions.

    3. Ah OK, in that case the Queen is still the ceremonial head of state if I remember correctly but otherwise I dont think she is consulted much on how NZ is run.

      As for the other part of that question the answer is sorta yes and then no, as why waste my energy trying to remove a figurehead.

    4. Queen Elizabeth is the New Zealand Head of State. She is sometimes described as a "figurehead" or "ceremonial" head of state by those who wish to imply that she is of no great significance. Similarly national flags, anthems, coats of arms, honors, titles, medals or world cups can all be considered bits of cloth, tunes for brass bands, a dash of color on a uniform, something to look good on the mantle piece and so on.
      I could easily adopt that point of view myself, because I have no regard for, in fact abhor, the rituals, trappings and paraphernalia of state.
      You may feel the same, but the difference between you and I is that I strongly believe that people should not be forced to bow to the symbols of state, as the people of Altdorf were forced to bow their heads to Gessler's hat.
      It remains a fact that this "ceremonial" arrangement with the British crown is important to the New Zealand state, so important that those who do not bow to it have been driven off their land, imprisoned and killed, and to this day are denied the right of citizenship and the right to sit as a representative of the people in the parliament. So those in the state who share your attitude are in effect saying, "Sure, we killed your tipuna because they would not swear allegiance to our queen, and we deny you basic civil rights for the same reason, but really it means nothing, it is all a bit of a giggle, not to be taken seriously". Hitler and Pol Pot both passionately believed in the reasons why they killed people and removed from them their basic human rights. The New Zealand state, or at least a considerable component of the state, evidently does not. To them it has all been done for a bit of a laugh, the sensual pleasures to be derived from ritual pomp and circumstance. That is the position of a true psychopath.
      I will now answer the questions that I put to you.
      The Queen is very "much in the scheme of things".
      She is behind the British government. She openly supports its imperial adventures in the Middle East, and she keeps silent about British war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan.
      She is not running the New Zealand government or the British government but in a crisis she will be there to throw her immoral support behind the powers that be, as her constitutional position allows.
      Your conscience is telling you that this is a bad thing, but your rational mind is replying that if you take a moral stand your own position in the state will be jeopardized and the end result of that exchange is your declaration that you are not going to waste your energy in doing anything about it.

    5. So based on that you don't feel that any previous attempts by the NZ state to atone for those things, land settlements and all that, are genuine or just?

      NZ history is such that Maori had the means to call the colonial government to account and as such were not wiped out like in the Americas or in Africa, in fact they were strong enough to come back and assert their rights such that the NZ Government had to listen and seek to make amends. That seems like a good thing does it not?

      Unlike some Kiwis I meet and deal with I think the fact that NZ is trying to make amends makes a difference and while stats for Maori in general dont look so good some of that has to do with how the tribal elites live well but average Maori do not as much as the legacy of Colinialism.

      The key point for me is that bad history or not we had better try and get along and live together or we end up like Zimbabwe or worse.

      I also dont agree with your statement about those in government being so blase about people dying, thats creating an enemy/us v them mentality which plays into the victim narrative as that ignores again Maori asserting their rights and getting the NZ government to listen and seek to address those past damages.

      What would you have NZ be? An all Maori government, one with no acknowledgement of the last 150 years?

      Your viewing the Queen and NZ government as your enemy reduces things to a win/loose position which does not reflect how NZ actually is.

      But back to the Queen for a mo, again she is a figurehead in the UK and even less of a figurehead here, most Kiwis would not support her or anything she said about NZ if it went counter to NZ interests, unless your at the David Ickie level of things (and I dont think you are) then she is just a rather rich anachronism.

    6. It is always hard to discern motives, and we usually end up giving people the benefit of the doubt. However the "Treaty settlement process" has to be considered in the context of the mass privatisation of public wealth by the fourth Labour government. Maori suffered disproportionately in that process, and were also unusually well positioned to resist the reforms, had they so chosen. The quid pro quo, necessary political condition and prerequisite for Rogernomics was, therefore, Treaty settlements, which achieved their immediate political objective in that Maori concentrated their attention on the protracted and complex settlement process rather than on defending the common wealth and the state sector which had provided steady and well-paid employment for Maori in forestry, transport, post and telegraph, agriculture and other areas of the economy. The end result of the Douglas reforms however, has been pretty much the same for Maori and Pakeha. A privileged middle class professional and managerial elite doing very well for itself in both the private and public sectors, while manual workers in primary, secondary and service industries struggle to get by in an era of impossibly high house prices and low wages. So while the settlement process has had benefits, including many productive and profitable iwi enterprises, and an easing of the sense of grievance among Maori, it has failed to correct the fundamental material inequalities in New Zealand society. In fact it has been part of a wider process which has aggravated those inequalities and further undermined the foundations of New Zealand society.
      The challenge facing us in this century will be to provide a government which provides real representation and a genuine voice for Maori, Pakeha, Chinese, Indian, European and other immigrants. I believe that the colonial regime will struggle to do that, even with the advantages provided by the Mixed Member Proportional representation system and some fresh thinking will be required on the kind of political system which will best serve our needs.
      I personally would rather make friends than enemies, but the fact remains that the New Zealand government sent me to prison in a failed attempt to force me to serve its British Queen, and then attempted to seize my land and leave me homeless. The regime could make amends, but in its wisdom it has chosen not to take the path of truth and reconciliation. So be it. If the regime does good, it will be rewarded and respected. If it does wrong, it will be resisted and defeated.
      As for the Queen, if figureheads are important, then you still need to justify her position. If figureheads are not important, then dispense with her. The reality, of course is that the Queen is still there because she is important to the regime, both as a figurehead and in many other ways.
      The regime may have the Queen, but the people have Ihoa o nga mano and in the end God will prevail.

    7. On most of that we can agree.

      In regards to the Queen, I am not down with having a queen but then I am not down with the Maori King (or any other figurehead) either because I don't dig royalty in any way shape or form but prefer to put my energies elsewhere (or to put it better pick my battles).

      I would be down with NZ becoming a republic and getting rid of the whole bloody lot though, that I would be for.

      And I was unaware of you going to prison, can you elaborate.

  7. I am one of many of our people imprisoned by the New Zealand state for refusing military service. I believe that I speak for the great majority of our number when I say that we do not regret our actions, and would take the same stand today. The colonial regime for its part has expressed no regret about its own actions, so all we can draw from that is that our people and the colonial state remain at loggerheads on the freedom of conscience issue.