This thing about non-indigenous creatures in the Ureweras is a worry – how far will it spread?

March 8, 2014
The fish must go - but can the angler can prove he is indigenous?

The fish must go – but can the angler conclusively prove he is indigenous?

The Grumbles are giving serious consideration to moving to the South Island. Somewhere in the Ngai
Tahu’s domain – it doesn’t matter exactly where, although sunshine hours and what-have-you will be among the factors given high priority. A comfortable club for gentlemen with good stocks of whisky is important, too.

If the decision to move is made, advice to follow will be given to all of Alf’s constituents.

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Climbing Mt Cook seems to be okay, but hovering your chopper near its peak is a sacrilege

April 9, 2013

Beware, when travelling in the South Island.

Also known as The Mainland, its population includes the tribe known as Ngai Tahu, who are regarded by the United Nations and our Government as special people by virtue of being indigenous. They can be sensitive, too, and especially sensitive when it comes to things they hold sacred.

Our courts – you will find – are very anxious to protect these sacred objects. They are so anxious, in fact, that judges will bang on about sacrilege if you don’t treat a sacred object with proper respect, although Alf obviously wasn’t paying attention on the occasion when sacrilege was included in our law books as a crime.

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Oh look – Ngai Tahu have cashed in on forestry land by selling it to foreigners

October 4, 2011

We hear a lot of stuff about Maori having this world view that differs from the non-Maori world view and includes very different attitudes to land and resources.

Tukoroirangi Morgan, from Waikato Tainui, is among those who would have us believe Maori manage their assets differently from the result of us.

A few weeks ago he was in full blather about his plan to form a consortium of iwi, land trusts and incorporations to buy stakes in any state-owned enterprises that may be part-privatised if National is re-elected in November.

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Salmon are in for a treat – four days of ceremonies, a rarely performed dance and an apology

March 22, 2010

Sorry to say, some salmon have finished up on Alf's dinner plate and are past caring about apologies.

Alf regrets he has a full diary and other commitments later this month, because he would dearly love to witness the delivery of an apology to some fish.

He especially would like to see how the fish respond once they have received the apology.

Radio NZ can take the credit for alerting Alf to this exercise in contrition.

It advised him that a group of Native Americans was on a spiritual pilgrimage to New Zealand.

Twenty-eight representatives of the Winnemem Wintu people from California plan to apologise to the Chinook salmon, known in New Zealand as quinnat, which they believe is descended from eggs taken from their rivers.

Alf is anxious to see how the language challenge is overcome. He fears the salmon might have been here for so long, maybe they won’t understand the words of apology.
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Why James Renwick should stop worrying about who doesn’t want to be a scientist

February 12, 2010

Fascinating, isn’t it, what worries people.

A bloke called James Renwick, is worried that two few Maori are becoming scientists.

Alf is less bothered. If only a few Maori want to be scientists – so what?

The issue has been triggered by a survey by the New Zealand Association of Scientists that found Maori comprise only 1.7% of the science workforce

Waatea News reports the number is double the figure of 15 years ago.

Association president James Renwick says it’s worrying that Maori are not attracted to working in the area and further study is needed into why more Maori are not entering the sciences.

But before we bust ourselves trying to recruit more Maori into science, let’s make sure we don’t recruit those who challenge and impede scientific inquiry.

And if some Maori – like any people – are content to stick to their myths rather than challenge them, so be it. Science is not for everybody (more’s the pity).
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To h or not to h

March 30, 2009

Alf is keeping an eye out for news from the New Zealand Geographic Board, a curiously composed outfit that will decide today whether Wanganui should have the letter “h” added to its name.

More important, he is keen to learn whether fewer than 10 people can over-rule the preference (no “h”) of the vast majority of the people of the city.

By the end of the day, there’s a fair chance we will be hearing one of those wonderful bursts of utter outrage from Mayor Laws. Maybe a tantrum, too.
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Got a naming dispute? Give it to a mountaineer

March 16, 2009

A superbug is taking hold of our community, higher electricity prices are on the cards – and in Auckland, two groups are wrangling over the name of a railway station.

One of two lobbies inevitably will be disappointed by the outcome. The common-sense solution, therefore, is to toss a coin.

But no, the bloody-minded Aucklanders have become party to a procedure that will consume time and resources before we are told from on high if the bloody railway station should be called Khyber Pass or Grafton.
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