Dr Helen Clark

April 24th, 2009 at 9:31 am by David Farrar

Oh how nice. Auckland University is going to make Helen Clark a Doctor of Laws.

To be truly appropriate, I think they should make it a retrospective degree!

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56 Responses to “Dr Helen Clark”

  1. andrei (2,667 comments) says:

    ROLL CALL – honorary doctorates conferred on ex Prime Ministers

    Helen Clark – 1
    Jenny Shipley – 0
    Jim Bolger – 2
    Mike Moore – 5
    Geoffrey Palmer – 3
    David Lange – 0

    and the winner is – Mike Moore who puts it into perspective with

    the doctorates were a great honour: “In some places it’s a cheap way of getting a free speech out of you, of course.”

    Source:Clark has way to go in race for honours

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  2. Christopher (425 comments) says:

    Sooooo glad I’m slaving away for a law degree and a bachelor of science with honours in mathematics….

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  3. side show bob (3,660 comments) says:

    Lefty wankers. What a fucking joke.

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  4. dad4justice (8,296 comments) says:

    I think there is a big mistake here and perhaps a misprint, because she has well and truly earned the title Doctor of Lies. I mean to say, this deceptive woman is the master of fibs, lacks any integrity and her whole existence is a fraudulent selfish charade. This country is a sickening mess run by out of touch pc liars who reward people that constantly make a mockery of the law!

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  5. burt (8,289 comments) says:

    It’s just wrong, very very wrong.

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  6. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    the doctorates were a great honour: “In some places it’s a cheap way of getting a free speech out of you, of course.”

    Nice way to gain/reinforce an association for a donation later on, perhaps.

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  7. big bruv (14,112 comments) says:

    Perhaps she can pass one of these honorary doctorates on to Mary Anne Thompson, it might save Clark a bit of embarrassment given that Thompson’s trial is about to start.

    [DPF: Brilliant]

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  8. CraigM (694 comments) says:

    Vomit inducing.

    I could maybe have handled an honorary PHD in Womens Affairs, Political Science or some such, but Laws!

    FFS, the irony is so thick it’s choking.

    I can’t figure out if I am disgusted with the University or if I feel it is just a huge joke….on them.

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  9. gazzmaniac (2,307 comments) says:

    I thought that the reward of a title should be a dame or sir – in other words the honours board should decide whether Helen Clark is worthy or not. If this continues we will end up with all the mates of the universities ending up with doctorates that they have not earned. I mean really, Dr Tim Finn???? FFS.

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  10. Rebel Heart (249 comments) says:

    FFS some of you Kiwiblog commentators are idiots. She’s been in Parliament almost all her life – I think she would know a fuckload more about the law than the majority of you.

    As for your Christopher – it is your lecturers who are giving her that degree, you know, the people you are learning from FFS, do you think they wouldn’t know better than you about who is more appropriate for this kind of degree.

    For the record I hate Helen Clark and am an ACT supporter as well as a legal graduate but fuck do I hate ignorant comments even more.

    [DPF: There is a difference between knowing the law and having demonstrated respect for it]

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  11. goodgod (1,348 comments) says:

    If you only sell one type of product, you don’t ever give it away for free or its value becomes ambiguous. The joke is on all the participants in this farce.

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  12. Rebel Heart (249 comments) says:

    [DPF: There is a difference between knowing the law and having demonstrated respect for it]

    I’m not saying she respects the law – one of the reasons I hate her besides her left-wing policies is the way she considered her own party to be higher than the law. But just as Margaret Wilson was Dean of Waikato’s Law School because of her legal knowledge, of all the MPs in Parliament without a legal background Helen Clark deserves this honourary degree for her knowledge of how the Parliamentary legal process works more than any other as a recognition of her legal knowledge, having been PM for nine years and passed a lot of laws.

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  13. burt (8,289 comments) says:

    Rebel Heart

    FFS some of you Kiwiblog commentators are idiots. She’s been in Parliament almost all her life – I think she would know a fuckload more about the law than the majority of you.

    Parliamentary legal process works… Oh my god you are kidding. The Labour party did the unthinkable. They breached the 800 year old convention that the legislature do not act as the judiciary. Retrospective legislation covering 14 years of an unknown amount of money serving the interests of themselves…. That should have seen her impeched – not rewarded.

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  14. Rebel Heart (249 comments) says:

    And I don’t mean deserve as in because she was a good person, but simply in terms of if anyone was suited to do a phd thesis on the law there is no doubt Helen Clark would be someone clearly capable of writing one and thus getting the title anyway.

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  15. Rebel Heart (249 comments) says:

    How they treat the law is not the point Burt – if you were to sit a test on your knowledge of the law and how Parliament passes laws etc. Helen Clark would likely beat you in terms of score.

    Take for example the parable of a legal professor – clearly knows a fuckload about the law and has a phd. This does not mean he doesn’t steal or break the law. But he is still someone with a phd and is more suitable to have a phd than a law abiding citizen who studied mechanics, for example.

    Or a Catholic priest who fucks little kiddies. If you and him did a test on knowledge of the Bible, he would probably kick your ass in that test. So he still has the qualifications to be a priest that doesn’t mean he’ll be a good one.

    In a similar way – Helen Clark deserves a doctorate in laws not because she’s a good person, but because she’s been involved with the Parliamentary process for so damn long and has had way more experience in it than the majority of people, therefore the doctorate reflects her knowledge in that.

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  16. burt (8,289 comments) says:

    Rebel Heart

    And if she wrote one and it was marked as a fail she would change the rules it is to be marked under and get herself a pass. That is what she did for the 2005 election.

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  17. burt (8,289 comments) says:

    Rebel Hreart

    And if I scored higher than her in a test she would also change the rules so I didn’t – which is what she did in the 2005 election.

    Darnton VS Clark showed us what she thinks of the law and how well she understand it.

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  18. burt (8,289 comments) says:

    Rebel Heart

    A serial killer is never given a doctorate in medicine simply because they have disected many more bodies than most people.

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  19. david (2,561 comments) says:

    HEH Rebel, by your standardswe should suggest:
    Mark Byers (spp?) an hon Dr of Tax Accounting
    Jack the Ripper an hon Dr of Surgery
    Taito PF an hon Dr of Public Policy with special reference to Immigration
    Shane Jones an hon Dr of Arrogance
    Michael Cullen an Hon Dr of Economics
    D4J an Hon Dr of Social Services
    Trevor Mallard an hon Dr of Architecture (no that would be one too far)
    I’m sure the regular contributors can come up with some more and probably better examples,

    Thanks burt for planting the seed.

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  20. burt (8,289 comments) says:

    This is like giving a butcher a qualification to work as a surgeon.

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  21. NX (504 comments) says:

    Heh, as I said on The Sub-Standard…

    …. An honorary doctorate in Law for her outstanding contribution to the legal world; the EFA & the Sea Bed and Foreshore Act.

    ^ keeping lawyers in work for years to come!!

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  22. MajorBloodnok (361 comments) says:

    I am extremely disappointed in the University of Auckland. Because of this, they will receive no further alumni donations from me.

    Yes, HC knows a lot about law:

    – Electoral Finance Act
    – Darnton v Clark
    – Retrospective law re election spending
    – Foreshore & Seabed
    – Unilaterally replace Privy Council with Supreme Court
    – Sign another’s painting
    – Dropkick the Police Commissioner
    – Deny all knowledge of speeding
    – Couldn’t write an anti-terrorism bill that works
    – Ignore the Fiscal Responsibility Act by hiding $1,000 million from PREFU
    – Supporting someone reprimanded by the Privileges Committee

    I’m sure there are many more.

    How does Owen Glenn feel about the Uni of Auckland now?

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  23. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    I am extremely disappointed in the University of Auckland. Because of this, they will receive no further alumni donations from me.

    UOA educates around 30,000 students every year and conducts and commercialises research – if you don’t care about that, why were you making contributions in the first place?

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  24. MT_Tinman (3,246 comments) says:

    I wonder if they asked Michael before conferring the doctorate.

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  25. BlairM (2,356 comments) says:

    Hmmm… I am wondering if Vic would award me a BA if I renounced my U of A one? I suddenly feel ashamed to belong to the same alma mater.

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  26. burt (8,289 comments) says:

    News flash: Otago Uni awards all gay men an honorary doctorate of proctology.

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  27. andrei (2,667 comments) says:

    In related news Bainimarama awarded for ‘humanity’

    Seriously why get worked up over this?

    Academia likes and honors left wing politicians, hardly a News flash – is it?

    Don’t mean nothin’

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  28. Banana Llama (1,043 comments) says:

    So Jack the Ripper getting the Title “Doctor of Medicines” then?

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  29. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    Academia likes and honors left wing politicians, hardly a News flash – is it?

    Don’t forget likely socialist lickspittle Richard Chandler.

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  30. gd (2,286 comments) says:

    One Helen Elizabeth Clark showed an absolute contempt for the law and democracy the incidents are to many to repeat here but are very well documented over 27 years in the Parliament.

    Auckland University should be held in the highest contempt for awarding a degree to a known abuser of the legal system.

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  31. NX (504 comments) says:

    I think a “Darwin Award” is more appropriate for our beloved ex-Dear Leader.

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  32. david (2,561 comments) says:

    No No No you have all mis-understood.

    Miss Clark is getting an award for singlehandedly (well she did have a bit of help I suppose) providing an extensive supply of case-study material on the negative aspects of political corruption, legal manipulation, personal coercion, bullying in the workplace, constructive dismissal, forgery, fundamental legal principle, constitutional manipulation and a fair few other issues.

    When she finally passes on, the archives will be opened and there will be a whole new rash of case studies to assess but that little ones is another story which you will have to outlive Miss Clark to hear.

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  33. Madeleine (230 comments) says:

    I transferred from Waikato’s law school to Auckland law school to get away from the left-wing-lesbian-enviromentalist-feminist-maori-pc bull that the Waikato LLB was tainted with… argh!

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  34. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    Well thank goodness they gave her the degree, or else you wouldn’t know eh? ;-)

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  35. expat (4,050 comments) says:

    DP said “To be truly appropriate, I think they should make it a retrospective degree!”

    It would then align with the retrospective legislation Hels pushed through to allow election spending on her little red book, eh komrades?

    I like Mike Moores comments, basically its a sop to get you to do free stuff for them.

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  36. NOt1tocommentoften (433 comments) says:

    I notice above a reference to the fact that Clarke’s government unilaterally replaced the Privy Council with the Supreme Court. However it was done aside for one moment, can I ask why some beleive that this is such a bad thing? Anyone that read a PC judgment in the last 10 years will know it was out of touch with New Zealand – and sent back a number of rulings to the Court of Appeal as in its opinion it had more local knowledge. The PC was of little benefit to anyone towards the end…

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  37. OECD rank 22 kiwi (2,753 comments) says:

    It’s all a bit silly really.

    Is Auckland University desperate for the PR?

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  38. James (1,338 comments) says:

    If Clark can get this after her abuse of the law whilst PM then doesn’t Clint Rickards deserve one for “Womens studies”?

    Oh yes….I said it!

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  39. david (2,561 comments) says:

    NOt1tocommentoften @ 3:42

    I can’t speak on the quality of the rulings but I think that people were thoroughly pissed off that it was a unilateral decision of the Government , had never been campaigned on or suggested as a policy so it came right out of left field. (pun intended).

    Adding fuel to the fire is the fact that the new Supreme Court is a fiscal monster with a seemingly insatiable appetite for funding, fancy building, huge salaries etc together with the appearance that the members were appointed by the government thus giving the impression if not the fact of the bench being politically stacked and carefully selected in order to pursue a particular agenda of reform.

    In this case I suspect that the perception may be misleading but it still becomes a reality in many minds because there is no way of disproving it.

    It would be great if an unbiased legal mind could pass an opinion on your question but such a thing is about as scarce as rockinghorse shit.

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  40. Paul Williams (878 comments) says:

    I transferred from Waikato’s law school to Auckland law school to get away from the left-wing-lesbian-enviromentalist-feminist-maori-pc bull that the Waikato LLB was tainted with… argh!

    Isn’t that amusing, I preferred Waikato Law over Auckland Law … can’t say I’ve ever regretted it (no disrespect to Auckland however) neither, I’m guessing, are the other graduates many of whom are happily and gainfully employed.

    Madeleine, your’s was an uncharacteristically mean-spirited comment. Cultural cringe? You mightn’t have liked elements of the program, but you should respect that others did. The reflexive criticism of Waikato Law is no more valid than the Oxbridge Don’s declaiming the colony’s funny little schools.

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  41. Madeleine (230 comments) says:

    Paul I am quite certain that a number of Waikato students, probably the majority, had no issue with the way the Waikato degree was taught when you and I were studying there. I did though. Having studied at both, I find Auckland is far more professional and is all about the law and nothing else. I can count the number of lecturers I have had at Auckland who have openly stated their political preference during class on one hand, using no fingers, because the number is zero. I also honestly cannot tell where my lecturers stand, they don’t even let it slip. I currently have Paul Rishworth and I have a fair idea where he stands but it seriously does not come through in his classes.

    Conversely I can count the number of lecturers who did not make their political preferences clear during classes at Waikato one one hand, the number is 1. Dr Spiller never stated where he stood or gave any indication in either of the classes I had him for. Every other lecturer I had did. If some issue was going on politically the lecturers would bring it into class, they would comment favourably on left wing political parties and make derogatory comments about right wing ones and their policies. One lecturer, in all three courses I had her for, openly stated her sexual preference in the first lecture for each course – I don’t even have to name this lecturer for you to know precisely who I am referring to do I Paul?

    Last year AULSA was selling these very cool t-shirts with the slogan “If you go to Waikato to study law you are a bloody idiot.” The font is done up like the road safety message. They are very cool and I wear mine regularly.

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  42. Paul Williams (878 comments) says:

    Ummm, Madeleine, the only lecturer who’s politics I knew was Margaret Wilson and that’s cause I asked her about assisting with a Young Labour thing.

    I didn’t know or care about the sexual orientation of lecturers and don’t recall any of them discussing their sexual orientation in/around classes… I wonder though if you mean the unbelievably cool, clever, funny and brilliant A/Professor [deleted by DPF], if so, I’ll simply say she’s one of the most engaging and inspiring lecturers I’ve ever had (I like Peter Spiller too) and I suspect many others would agree (but I don’t give a monkey’s if they don’t). Her classes were honestly the highlight of my mercifully short academic career.

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  43. Paul Williams (878 comments) says:

    Last year AULSA was selling these very cool t-shirts with the slogan “If you go to Waikato to study law you are a bloody idiot.” The font is done up like the road safety message. They are very cool and I wear mine regularly.

    Gwad. I find t-shirts declaiming anything to be unbelievably boring. Why would AULSA define itself in relation to Waikato? I dunno Madeleine, but I don’t think lawyers have the best of reputations at the moment, I’d be a little more circumspect but then, undergraduate law students are hardly a modest bunch…

    I say; tell me what you’re for, not what your against.

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  44. andrei (2,667 comments) says:

    I wonder though if you mean the unbelievably cool, clever, funny and brilliant A/Professor [deleted by DPF]

    Hilarious;
                    I just checked out her list of publications. I was particualarly taken with the title

    Practising Down Under: Gays and Lesbians and the Law of New Zeland(sic)
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  45. Madeleine (230 comments) says:

    You did go through a few years before I did. Maybe we had different lecturers. Maybe it was because I was right wing that I noticed more than you did.

    I do recall my classmates who had a variety of views regularly complainging about essay question options saying that they rarely had a choice in any subject where they did not feel they needed to apologise for being white, heterosexual and male.

    I agree that [deleted by DPF] was a very funny and engaging lecturer, very passionate about her subjects, who also was kind enough to take the time to help me out with a big problem once, at your suggestion, for which I will be forever greatful to both her and you for. However, being in a class where you are told the lecturer is a lesbian and you are studying family law and you are set an essay question asking for your opinion on various legal issues that gay and lesbian couples face in family law (this was going back 10 years or so) hardly makes a student feel safe arguing any position but a pro-gay or lesbian one.

    A lecturer’s job is to teach the subject, not to try to influence the politics, ethics or social conscience of their students. Like I said the majority of my lecturers routinely made inappropriate political comment in class at Waikato. It just wouldn’t happen at Auckland – the only lecturer at Auckland I have heard the charge made against is Jane Kelsey but I have not had her for anything so I couldn’t comment.

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  46. Paul Williams (878 comments) says:

    I have potentially outed someone which is an incredibly stupid thing for me to do in any circumstances, I’d appreciate it a little discretion could be shown until David’s able to delete my comment.

    Madeliene, I’m not going to get into a discussion about anyone’s sexuality. It’s none of my business and I should have not commented as I did. As I say, I’ve asked David to delete the comment.

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  47. Madeleine (230 comments) says:

    Paul, I didn’t name her in my first comment because my issue was not about her and like I said, I like her. However, the fact you knew precisely who I meant and my own experience as documented where she told every class herself mean that it is stretching things to say that you outed her.

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  48. gazzmaniac (2,307 comments) says:

    So Jack the Ripper getting the Title “Doctor of Medicines” then?

    Depending on who’s version of the story you believe, Jack the Ripper may have been a medical doctor, perhaps even one of the investigation team. I recall a mini series a few years ago about it.

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  49. Paul Williams (878 comments) says:

    David, thank you. I should have known better but appreciate your actions.

    Madeleine, look, I’m just going to say what I said before. I don’t recall lecturers discussing their sexuality in/around classses, I genuinely don’t. The fact that I might have an insight into person A or B’s sexuality is a function of the fact that Hamilton is a small town and I hung out with student pollies – which rich with the queer community (g’on, really?).

    But having said all that, I can see how sexuality is relevant in many discussions about the law. For many people and many years, a person’s sexuality affected their basic human rights which, IMHO, is ridiculous. The idea that lecturers, law ones particularly, ought to be impartial, is possibly a little naive. The act of selecting cases, of emphasising judgments, recommending texts, any decision taken that departs from the Law Society’s script may lead to an allegation of “politicising” the course. I don’t start from the perspective that the law is purely a positivist construct, I’m a Holmes-style realist, so I don’t object to its contextualisation – sexual, poltical, racial or otherwise.

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  50. Paul Williams (878 comments) says:

    Arggggghhh, negative karma… I so value the endorsement of largely anonymous malcontents…. no…..

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  51. burt (8,289 comments) says:

    Paul,

    How is sexuality any more relevant to lawyers (by implication that includes judges) than it is to police work, jury members, prison wardens or any other role in the wider context of the justice system?

    I think the Jury is your biggest problem to be honest. These people are not required to demonstrate in any way that their decision was free of personal bias.

    Lectures declaring their sexuality was possibly a self empowering thing some years back but I doubt many would indulge themselves this way in today’s society.

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  52. Madeleine (230 comments) says:

    I’d say the karma is more indicative of people’s ability to spot PC crap.

    Editing someone’s name because they were outed for being gay when they announced to every class that they are – anyone would think there was something wrong with being gay.

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  53. Flashman (184 comments) says:

    Auckland University hey?

    No surprises there then.

    After all, the lavender hubby collects a pay cheque from that outfit.

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  54. Paul Williams (878 comments) says:

    Editing someone’s name because they were outed for being gay when they announced to every class that they are – anyone would think there was something wrong with being gay.

    David deleted the name at my request, as I’ve said, I don’t recall a lecturer making any statement about their sexuality in class. There’s nothing wrong with being gay Madeleine, but there is outing someone. That’s the difference, I’d’ve thought it was obvious.

    How is sexuality any more relevant to lawyers (by implication that includes judges) than it is to police work, jury members, prison wardens or any other role in the wider context of the justice system?

    Burt, it’s not. I’m simply saying sexuality is relevant to the law and relevant to the teaching of law… as is race, as is class etc.

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  55. Murray M (455 comments) says:

    I’ve got a nephew studying law at Waikato. He reckons the Maoris and Polys get it easy.

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  56. Paul Williams (878 comments) says:

    I’ve got a nephew studying law at Waikato. He reckons the Maoris and Polys get it easy.

    …but your nephew finds it hard hey? You think it’s a family trait?

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