Sorry, Sonny, but the Auditor-General won’t be apologising for her whanau ora criticism

June 15, 2015
Hmm..if the whanau's in here, what has happened to the ora?

Hmm .. the rest of the money must be back with the administrators. 

Uh, oh. That’s not like Lyn, Alf thought when he heard she had agreed to do some apologising.

He is sure she would apologise if she got something wrong, of course.

But she wouldn’t be saying sorry – surely – just because somebody had been offended by something she said.

In this case it sounded like the apology indeed was about to be delivered because somebody had taken offence.

The Lyn being talked about in this post is Lyn Provost, Auditor-General and someone with whom Alf has a nodding acquaintance.

The offended party is Sonny Tau, who apparently was affronted by comments she made when criticising the amount of Whanau Ora funding spent on administration.

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Checking a building’s safety is one thing – but you’ve got to be Maori if it’s a Maori building

February 5, 2015
And you've got to be Irish to recognise one of these...

And you’ve got to be Irish to recognise this fellow…

Alf is regarding Maori structures with a huge new regard.

Maori meeting houses and other marae buildings contain qualities that he cannot ever recognise or appreciate.

But nor can can any non-Maori building inspector.

Nope. You’ve got to be an indigenous person to recognise and appreciate these qualities and determine whether a building is culturally safe as well as structurally safe.

Accordingly an inspector who can’t brandish the right ethnic credentials should not be entitled to examine these buildings and determine their fitness to survive an earthquake or whatever.

We have this on the expert authority of an associate professor of architecture, who happens to be an indigenous person, although Alf is sure this would by no means affect or influence his professional judgement.

Accordingly we should pay heed to this gentleman.

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Co-governance is tricky: the right tone must be struck and all iwi kept on side

March 18, 2012

A source of disharmony.

Mrs Grumble has drawn your hard-working MP’s attention to a fuss in the capital that he overlooked during his news monitoring yesterday.

It’s a useful – and ominous – pointer to what Alf foresees happening under the Treaty-based co-governance arrangements now being spawned around the country.

It shows the need to strike the right tone when you take up a few niggling issues with your co-governance partner.

Otherwise the other party might spit the dummy and become uncooperative.

Moreover if you are an iwi leader, you must not piss off other Maori or things become awfully complicated.

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Taxpayers will avoid a capital farce by putting ownership of a plastic waka directly into Maori hands

April 6, 2011

If they built a waka similar to this, which end would be the bow?

The Herald today is headlining a story about another handout to hapu.

The opening paragraph of the report says the Government’s gift of almost $2 million to the hapu to build a plastic waka for the Rugby World Cup has drawn outrage from some MPs.

But outrage, or any response of a critical nature, is bound to be the stuff of sour-grapes politicking from pissed off Opposition MPs who wish they had thought of it first.

The money being extracted from your pockets and mine, dear constituent, is going to a good cause.

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Don’t pull the plug on this Maori trough – let’s see if it can be adapted for Scandinavian export growth

June 29, 2010

Alf has jacked up a meeting with Pansy Wong, our Minister of Ethnic Affairs, despite his serious reservations about the need for such a portfolio.

An impulse to win a few electoral brownie points in the Tararua region has taken precedence over principle in the matter he wishes to raise with her.

He reckons the Government should put aside a bucket of money for Scandinavians (who were among the first non-Maori to move into his neck of the woods, giving rise to the naming of towns like Dannevirke and Norsewood). The objective would be to help the Scandinavians to export stuff.

Don’t ask what sort of stuff, because it seems to Alf it doesn’t matter a fat rat if it turns out they export nothing. The point essentially is to properly appropriate the money and have it targeted to help any exporter who can claim to be a Scandinavian exporter.

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A government grant to grow vegies – well, yes, but only for those deemed to be “special” citizens

May 17, 2010

Ooh, that sounds like a great scheme, Mrs Grumble gurgled this morning on hearing that the Government is giving away money to help people grow their own vegetables.

Fair to say, Alf didn’t think it such a good idea unless Mrs Grumble was willing to do all the digging, the hoeing, the weeding and so on.

Let’s face it: you can get vegetables a helluva lot quicker by driving down to the supermarket than by growing them at home.

But Mrs Grumble was on a roll. Her argument: you don’t know where those supermarket vegetables have been grown or to what extent they have been drenched in bloody herbicides and pesticides? And that being so, then how are we to know when eating that stuff might be tantamount to suicide?

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Our big chance to flock to Te Reo commentaries

October 14, 2009

It looks like the nation is being given a splendid opportunity to express the strength of its enthusiasm for part-Maori rugby commentaries. Or not.

We will be able to cast our votes by tuning into an all-English broadcast – or by opting for broadcasts which include a 5-10% smattering of Te Reo.

The chance to cast these votes is about the only good that comes from the shambles of the battle to win free-to-air Rugby World Cup broadcast rights.

Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples is kicking up a fuss this morning about the gazzumping of the Maori Television Service’s attempt to secure the rights. But let’s face it – he contributed to the shambles by failing to mention to Cabinet colleagues his approval of the spending of $3m of Te Puni Kokiri money for the Maori service to secure the bid.

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Pita goes down in rugby maul

October 5, 2009

(as dictated to Mrs Grumble)
Pita Sharples is a bloke with an aptitude for falling into a political mire by talking before thinking. Remember the bullshit about giving Maori kids an easy ride into our universities?

Sharples is in danger of sinking deep into more shit on the idea of Maori Television Service coverage of the Rugby World Cup, as a statement he issued today virtually concedes.

“It’s a pity the bid has attracted controversy, but I am well prepared to discuss the merits of the case with the Prime Minister and other stakeholders…”

But he’s a stubborn bastard, and he’s sticking to his support for the MTS bid for Rugby World Cup broadcast rights. He reckons it’s “a golden opportunity for Maori and the nation, which MTS and Te Puni Kokiri are right to seize…”

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Mallard in a muddle again

October 3, 2009

(as dictated to Mrs Grumble)

Trevor Mallard yet again has demonstrated why he rates among the great plonkers of politics.

He has issued a silly media statement headed Government drops ball on Rugby World Cup

The statement was prompted by the Herald’s report that Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples has given his blessing for Te Puni Kokiri to sink up to $3 million into Maori Television to support its bid for the free-to-air rights to broadcast the Cup.

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A high up-and-under from potty Pita

October 2, 2009

(As dictated to Mrs Grumble)

Looks like Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples doesn’t have Sky telly.
Alf draws this conclusion from NZ Herald news that Sharples

…has given his blessing for taxpayer funds to support a Maori Television Service bid for the 2011 Rugby World Cup’s free-to-air broadcast rights, thought to be as high as $3 million.

Given his blessing?

Who does he think he is? The bloody Pope?

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