1. CNN’s Jeanne Moos gave an incredibly racist, ignorant & culturally offensive ‘news’ report about the Maori welcome given to the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge. If you can stomach it, you can watch it here: http://www.tinyurl.com/cnnroyalreport No doubt she thought she was terribly witty, NZ thinks she’s an idiot. This petition on Change.org, is to get a public apology to Maori in particular, & NZ generally.

    "Friday morning, April 11 2014 saw a complaint lodged with CNN about a story recently aired by one of their reporters, Ms. Jeanne Moos, regarding the welcoming ceremony held at Government House, Wellington, New Zealand for Their Royal Highnesses; the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

    "In this report she referred to the exposed nature of one of the tangata-whenua causing a ‘royal bummer’, questioning whether it is ‘any way to welcome a future king and queen?’ Ms Moos continued in dubbing a haka by the New Zealand Army in Afghanistan as a routine of ‘slapping and thrusting’, and trivialised other protocol such as the hongi: ‘forget about rubbing shoulders’, and the haka further more: ‘a cross between a Chipendale lap dance and the mating dance of an emu’

     

  2. "Bruises: a few at first; then more and more. Soon a collection of contusions flowered like scud upon Cloudboy’s back. Asked about them, he reluctantly confessed they were inflicted by a group of popular boys in his class. At lunchtime that day, he admitted, he’d been surrounded by his tormentors, his shorts were pulled down, his shirt was lifted over his head, and then he was displayed for entertainment before a group of well-liked girls. When I gave Cloudboy’s second year teacher the names of the culprits and witnesses, she promised an investigation. The following day, however, Cloudboy returned home to tell me he was a liar because the bullying never occurred. Tears floated in his eyes. “It didn’t happen?” I asked, bewildered. “It did happen.” Cloudboy’s fists were bunched as he spoke. “Then why are you saying it didn’t?” “Because my teacher told me that the boys I said are bullies are good boys and that I’m naughty for telling fibs about them.” "

    A beautifully written & true account by my mother’s friend, Auckland poet Siobhan Harvey. No child should be treated like this.

     
  3. I got bitten.

    My father was sweeping the leaves on the deck and disturbed this usually nocturnal weta.  Forgetting about their large, sharp mandibles, I thought I’d be nice and relocate it, out of the sun and sight. This is the Auckland Tree Weta / Tokoriro (Hemideina thoracic), their body is up to 40mm long.

    Other than the odd Aussie import, we don’t have venomous insects in NZ, so I’m fairly relaxed about handling them (other than cockroaches, because they’re just disgusting).  I was being very slow and gentle, but it was already cross & feeling threatened (see the back legs raised to make itself look bigger), and then I twitched, very slightly, at the feel of it’s sharp feet getting a grip on my hand - so it bit me.  I was surprised by how much it hurt, and how much it bled, but a weta’s mandibles are pretty impressive so I guess I really shouldn’t have been.

    It’s now relocated into a safer habitat, curtesy of my father’s leather gloved hand.

     
  4. Dragonfly.

     
  5. Mahoe - Jeff Thomson

    Brick Bay Sculpture Trail

     
  6. Two Birds - Paul Dribble

    at Brick Bay Sculpture Trail

     
  7. Young Kauri.

     

  8. I’d really like to agree with Russell Brown on this, but I’m sceptical that it wasn’t (at least unconsciously) meant to silence voices the Herald editors don’t agree with & don’t want to hear.

     
  9. Kawau Bay

    This morning was very still with an overcast but light sky. I always think the water looks beautiful in those conditions.  There’s something very painterly about the softness of the blue, the rippling of the water.

     

  10. It’s easy to think that racism is an act that belonged to other people, in another time, in another place. Except it isn’t. And it never was.

    Some New Zealanders are aware of the realities of the racial hierarchy: the wealth gap; the employment gap; the apprehension, prosecution and conviction gap. But less New Zealanders appreciate the language of racism. Not the language of niggers, kikes and kaffirs. But of “semantic moves” - of coded insults and racist premises.

    We live in the age of racism without racists. Racism comes with its own stigma. People want to avoid that. But rather than change their behaviour, society has invented rhetorical parachutes. Suddenly racism can’t exist without racial words. Racism becomes the use of “Wogistan”, but not the history and ideas that sustain it.

    Tolley didn’t need to mention race. Her attack is loaded with social, political and racial assumptions. The unspoken context is that Metiria, a Maori woman who lives well and dresses better, is acting out of turn and out of step with her community. How can she be in touch with her community when she isn’t living like them? The premise is that a Maori woman cannot dress well and claim to represent her people. Because Maori live exclusively in poverty, amirite.

    But Tolley can. She dresses like her community, lives with them and – it seems – perpetuates their prejudices. The premise is that her community is well off and that gives her the right to live well, dress well and hold power. Tolley is constructing a self-serving stereotype. A world of (literally) black and white where binary assumptions can be made about how racial communities live.

    Read More…