Low muster for referendum in the Far North tells us iwi leaders didn’t drive many Maori to the polls

March 25, 2015

Alf was bemused by a Radio NZ report that the Far North District Council was accused of bypassing iwi in a vote on creating Māori wards

He supposes the iwi are smarting because two thirds of those who voted rejected the proposal for dedicated seats.

This means, of course, they voted in favour of maintaining a democratically elected council rather than debase the idea that all votes should carry equal weight.

Now some outfit called Te Runanga Nui o Te Aupōuri has popped up to complain there was poor promotion of the poll and few Maori knew about the ballot.

Whether the portion of Maori who didn’t know about the ballot is any different from the portion of non-Maori who didn’t know about it is unclear.

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Cr Linda Cooper didn’t have to say sorry, surely, just for cutting a c**k down to size

February 23, 2015

Oh dear. A complaint of sizeism – by the look of it – has been lodged with the Auckland Council.

It has been prompted by  Councillor Linda Cooper calling some bloke a “judgmental little c**k” in a Facebook exchange of views about this weekend’s Pride Parade.

Actually, Alf strongly suspects the asterisks have been put into one of those four words because someone at Stuff doesn’t have the balls to stick to the word “cock”.  Or (come to think of it) maybe it was “cask”?

Whatever it was, the word “little” was obviously deeply troubling to someone. Cooper clearly ought to have described the bloke as a bloody big judgmental cock (or cask, or c**k) to escape a fuss.

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Tauranga is being given a cultural tickle-up but its indigenous critic is just one tiny voice

February 3, 2015
How well tuned in is he?

Pat Spellman…how well tuned in is he?

The Tauranga City Council is being accused of not working hard enough to promote its Maori identity.

Exactly what it is supposed to do to reflect this identify is anyone’s guess.

But the council is bound to be given plenty of ideas on the matter because according to Radio NZ:

The council is asking for public submissions for its draft public art policy to enhance the environment and to reflect the city’s character and identity.

The news items tells us:

Maori art is seen in the city, including the Matariki pou on the waterfront and the pou at Pukehinahina (Gate Pa).


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Waikato ratepayers are tapped for environmental project that made headlines when war broke out

January 22, 2015

Alf observes with some bemusement another cost heaped on residents of the Waikato.

They will be pouring more money into Maungataurari Ecological Island, described by the local newspaper as “”the jewel in the region’s environmental crown”.

But it is struggling financially and regional councillors have come to its assistance.

Not with their money, obviously. Nope. Ratepayers’ money.

Discussion on funding for the Maungatautari Ecological Island Trust (MEIT) resumed yesterday at Waikato Regional Council talks on the 2015-2025 Draft Long Term Plan.

Debate raged over two days but councillors voted 9 to 5, to commit $300,000 each year to the wildlife refuge for three years.

New information delayed proceedings overnight and when the MEIT annual report was presented, it showed an organisation “living hand-to-mouth”.

Their financial report for the year ending June 2014 showed income was down more than $450,000 on the previous year. This was due in part to the Sirocco effect – the famed kakapo who enticed visitors through the gates to the value of $200,000.

There was a $123,000 cash surplus from operations and, in the annual report, accountant Graham Scott said MEIT was heavily reliant on regional and central government funding.

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Willie agrees Maori are entitled to a half-share of political power, but he’ll settle for less for now

December 10, 2014

Willie Jackson has popped up in New Plymouth to confirm Alf’s suspicions that some indigenous persons in this country feel the Treaty of Waitangi entitles them to a half share of anything that’s up for grabs, especially a slice of the political action.

He can count on bumping into some craven Pakeha person who is only too willing to give away the half share of the action that Jackson is claiming.

New Plymouth mayor Andrew Judd comes into this category. He reckons Maori should be given half the seats on his council – and on every other council in the land. Never minds what the citizens think.

Jackson obviously concurs that this is a fair go.

According to this report in the Daily News:

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Willie claims more support than his rival but he goes to court – not the polls – to prove it

November 25, 2014
I'm more popular  than that Kake feller, and I'll sue if you disagree.

I’m more popular than that Kake feller, and I’ll sue if you disagree.

Far from Auckland, hunkered down in the Eketahuna Club, Alf’s mates couldn’t give a toss about whether broadcaster Willie Jackson should be sitting on Auckland’s  Independent Maori Statutory Board.

They do give a toss about process.

They observe that Willie took a legal route on his rocky passage towards a seat on the board, which provides advice to Auckland Council on Maori issues.

The High Court has ruled in his favour and found the board’s selection processes were flawed.

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Oh dear, Taranaki politicians lament the lost chance of making history by making Maori more special

September 26, 2014
On which side of the mountain will the next battle be fought?

On which side of the mountain will the next battle be fought?

Dunno if the tossers in Taranaki have noticed, as they anguish over their electoral systems and fret that indigenous persons are not able to exercise enough influence.

But the National Party now has nine Maori members of Parliament.

That’s two more than the Labour Party.

The big difference is that none of the National Party’s Maori MPs needed the advantage afforded by standing in Maori electorates (which a royal commission said should be got rid of when we took up MMP a long while back).

Labour, on the other hand, won six of the seven Maori seats.

The race-based and thoroughly ethnocentric Maori and Mana Parties, on the other hand, took a drubbing.

Dear old Hone was tossed into the political wilderness and no longer can slurp from the public trough. Not the Parliamentary one, anyway, but he’s a sly old dog, and with all the special treatment that comes from being an indigenous person, he is bound to find another trough somewhere.

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John McLeod is branded a renegade – just for resigning over the introduction of race-based voting

September 25, 2014
No, he didn't burn down the council chambers.

No, he didn’t burn down the council chambers.

It’s a measure of the magnitude of the Kiwi surrender to the power push by indigenous persons that New Plymouth councillor John McLeod is described as a renegade.

That derogatory adjective was used in a caption beneath his photo in the Taranaki Daily News before he resigned “after the vote on Maori wards did not go his way”.


According to the definition at Oxforddctionaries.com a renegade is…

A person who deserts and betrays an organization, country, or set of principles: an agent who later turns out to be a renegade

So has John McLeod deserted the New Plymouth Council or his city?

Or has he betrayed it or its principles?

It depends.

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Locals of Tokoroa have good cause to be pissed off with council’s unimaginative dunny decision

June 24, 2014
Kawakawa shows the way...

Kawakawa shows the way…

The good citizens of Tokaroa have been sadly let down by the drones who sit on the South Waikato District Council.

The council has decided to close the town’s ladies-only restroom on June 27.

Toilet attendant Margaret Gabolinscy will then be flushed into a somewhat premature retirement.

The Waikato Times has apprised its readers (and Alf) of this serious – and ill-considered – state of affairs.

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Here’s a plan for Auckland’s planners: get into budget planning and plan cuts in other planning jobs

June 10, 2014
Whoever planned this should be high on the no-longer needed list.

Whoever planned this should be high on the no-longer- needed list.


Dunno what Auckland City planners will be planning today.

But it’s a fair bet it will hard for them to plan too far ahead for their own personal futures because great uncertainty is shrouding their career longevity – at least, so far as their council jobs are concerned.

Planning is always complicated by uncertainty.

Alf makes these observations after learning from the NZ Herald that –

About 500 planning staff at Auckland Council face an uncertain future in a major restructuring exercise announced today.

The Herald quotes chief planning officer Dr Roger Blakeley, who once upon a time could be found heading the Ministry for the Environment in Wellington.


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