Editorials 1 June 2010

June 1st, 2010 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald looks at the oil spill:

As oil has become a scarcer resource, the search for it has, out of necessity, moved to more difficult locations. Oil companies have had to take a greater interest in inhospitable regions such as New Zealand’s Great South Basin and the waters off Alaska. They are also drilling in water so deep that any problems are beyond the reach of divers. This increases the potential for severe environmental damage if companies do not have adequate safety back-ups. Clearly, that was the case with BP and its Deepwater Horizon platform in the Gulf of Mexico. Indeed, it is now apparent that the company has no real idea how to contain, let alone control, the giant oil spill prompted by an explosion at the rig almost six weeks ago. …

The upshot of this ongoing failure is what the White House now says is the worst environmental catastrophe the United States has faced. The Gulf spill has easily surpassed the Exxon Valdez disaster off Alaska in 1989, with estimates of the amount of oil leaking each day ranging from 1.9 to 3 million litres.

And The Press talks :

At first glance it does seem to be unfair on New Zealanders who aspire to a tertiary education.

With the Government freeze on funding for extra enrolments, universities are proposing higher standards for students, including courses that had previously been open entry. Yet at the same time the Government is encouraging more overseas students to study here, provided they pay full course fees.

The more overseas students you have, the more domestic students that can be funded. It is not an either/or.

As far as the domestic students are concerned, higher eligibility standards would be a positive development, despite the move being fiscally-driven. For too long there has been an expectation of an automatic right of entry to tertiary study. This unhealthy sense of entitlement among school-leavers should be eroded as universities call for higher NCEA pass rates.

And there should also be a national entry assessment for students over the age of 20 years; they currently have open entry despite the fact that mature students have a higher failure rate than school-leavers.

Finally, all those at universities should be told that they must now perform academically if they are to be entitled to re-enrol or, as the recent Budget signalled, to receive a student loan.

Slackers like myself will need to improve performance earlier, or get a job.

The Dom Post wades into the row:

It is to be hoped that Murray McCully does not apply the same standards to his role as foreign affairs and trade minister as he does to his role as World Cup minister. Otherwise New Zealand will become an international laughing stock.

It is no more acceptable for Rugby World Cup ambassador Andy Haden to refer to Polynesians as “darkies” than it would be for New Zealand’s high commissioners to Samoa or Tonga to refer to the locals as “coconuts” – another racial epithet Haden considers appropriate in “the right context”.

I don’t think anyone thinks it is acceptable. It is more a matter of whether he gets sacked for it.

Haden represents an old, and not particularly attractive, face of New Zealand. The image New Zealand wants to show the world at next year’s Rugby World Cup is of a young, confident nation that revels in the racial diversity of its makeup. His time has passed. He should go.

Ageism instead of racism!

The ODT also weighs in:

New Zealand’s premier rugby teams of today look very different to those of yesteryear.

They are now much bigger and much browner. Reflecting recent generations of mass Polynesian immigration to New Zealand, as well as Pacific interest and ability in rugby, Samoans, Tongans and Fijians are commonplace.

The All Blacks of the past 25 years would be a shadow of what they have been without Michael Jones, Jonah Lomu, Olo Brown and a long line of others. The Pacific has provided strength, pace, skill and leadership, capped with the appointment of All Black captain Tana Umaga in 2004. …

Selecting sports teams is, in essence, simple.

Pick those most likely to help the team win, whatever their colour, background or connections.

The jobs of coaches are precarious enough without them cutting their own throats by letting other considerations influence their judgements.

At another level, of course, selecting becomes more complex.

Choosing those most likely to help the team win is not the same as picking the most talented individual players. What will the impact of the person be on team culture, so essential for success? How will the player fit in with the style of the team? What is the playing balance of the team? Will the player thrive or shrivel?It is against this background that the extraordinary comments of former All Black lock and New Zealand Rugby World Cup ambassador Andy Haden should be viewed. …

The Crusaders’ primary interest has been to maintain winning ways, and they have, by the length of a rugby field, been the most successful in New Zealand at that.

It is reasonable to maintain that genetic and cultural characteristics influence how many Polynesians play rugby.

And it is fair enough for a team, like the Crusaders, to have a distinct style and therefore to be cautious about the number of its players, brown or white, who play a particular way.

But the Crusaders are too clever to be sucked into the racism that applies generalisations to particular individuals.

Exactly. Generalisations have their place in discussions, but you don’t apply them to known individuals.

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12 Responses to “Editorials 1 June 2010”

  1. Michaels (1,233 comments) says:

    Haden represents an old, and not particularly attractive, face of New Zealand. The image New Zealand wants to show the world at next year’s Rugby World Cup is of a young, confident nation that revels in the racial diversity of its makeup. His time has passed. He should go.

    Well my friends and I must be particularly unattractive as well….. What nambie pambie fucking bullshit!!!
    Whoever wrote that crap is the one that should go.

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  2. toad (3,674 comments) says:

    Ageism instead of racism!

    Not at all. No-one is questioning the suitability as RWC ambassadors of Sean Fitzpatrick, John Kirwan, or David Kirk – all of whom played in the same era as Haden.

    It is Haden’s world view that means his time should have passed, not his age.

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  3. dad4justice (6,594 comments) says:

    I like what the Iceman said about the Handbag Haden saga -“I think that’s a real slap in the face for a lot of us who believe that you pick on whoever’s the best; we’re part of a multicultural society.”

    Grow a pair McCully and sack the big unit fool.

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  4. Paul Williams (880 comments) says:

    The more overseas students you have, the more domestic students that can be funded. It is not an either/or.

    Actually, there is a trade off of sorts. There’ll be physical constraints to be considered as well as teaching resources. Sure international students represent a commercial opportunity and, over time, can generate income to be used to fund domestic delivery however, there’s a real need and legislative requirements to ensure you’ve got sufficient insurance to cover the various risks associated with delivery to overseas students. While I don’t know the practice in NZ in detail, this often means establishing some sort of special purpose company which holds the assests and liabilities making a profit transfer to the parent a little more difficult. So, in short, simply enrolling more fee for service international students does not necessarily mean you have more domestic capacity.

    Moreover, any public institution needs to be clear about what it’s objectives are; they have to deliver student outcomes that match labour market need, not simply turn a profit by delivering to international students who enrol in whatever program best assists them to become permanent residents… you want evidence of how hard it is, look west to Australia where it’s currently a major challenge.

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  5. davidp (3,585 comments) says:

    I’m still confused about what a RWC ambassador does. Are they employed by the government or the Rugby Union?

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  6. RKBee (1,344 comments) says:

    BP oil spill: means higher prices at the pumps.

    New Zealanders who aspire to a tertiary education.. since when.

    Andy Haden I agree with the nambie pambie fucking bullshit!!! Whoever wrote that crap is right.
    Haden should go… the old codja thinks like the dynasore he is.

    Hopefully New Zealanders will aspire to a tertiary education instead of Rugby in the future.

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  7. Bob R (1,419 comments) says:

    ***The image New Zealand wants to show the world at next year’s Rugby World Cup is of a young, confident nation that revels in the racial diversity of its makeup.***

    Any bets on whether this pious editor Bernadette Courtney lives in a ‘diverse’ neighbourhood?

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  8. Positan (396 comments) says:

    What namby-pamby, panty-waisted, PC attitudes seems to pervade every aspect of our lives these days! Why do so many of us become so completely unglued and behave like headless chickens over such matchless trivia and utter nonsense. The man had an opinion and he aired it – but instead of counter argument or “proof of denial” being in any way aired or presented, so many chose to go all abstract, navel-gazing and Greenie-like, demanding resignations – and I’m sure, if they could get away with it, hangings.

    It really makes me ashamed to describe myself as a Kiwi.

    Frankly, I like the term “darkie.” I’ve been referred to countless times as “whitey” or “bro” and never thought to take the slightest offence because the utterers mostly looked as though their vocabularies couldn’t accommodate anything more complicated. What has been a point of mild annoyance to me for years is that the only word used to describe me as a non-Maori is in fact a Maori word – a testicular nonsense, given the comparatively overwhelming size and scope of the English language. “Darkie” to me is as inoffensive as “whitey” and as it possesses the added cachet of being itself an English word, I intend to use it when such a generalisation is called for from here on in.

    The uproar surrounding Haden has made obvious another shortcoming – the fact that we don’t presently have a suitable word to describe the pathetic and matchless fatuousness of the PC cretinous types who have flushed themselves out of our woodwork. I’ll have to give it some deeper thought and attention.

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  9. Michaels (1,233 comments) says:

    Correct Positan.

    Fucking bullshit the lot of it!!!

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  10. Sector 7g (242 comments) says:

    *The image New Zealand wants to show the world at next year’s Rugby World Cup is of a young, confident nation that revels in the racial diversity of its makeup.*

    I think i missed the vote on what NZ’s image should be for the RWC.
    Were there any other options, for example “NZ wants to show the image of a free society where one can speak their mind and not be fired for having an opinion that doesn’t revolve around leftist crap”?

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  11. mpledger (425 comments) says:

    The hilarious thing is that overseas people can enroll and pay full fees to get into restricted classes but NZ born/permenant residents can’t pay full fees to get in.

    As for letting non-NZ residents get residency after obtaining a degree that just plain stupid. We should be giving people from our own country the benefit of the best education and best job opportunities possible. Why spend millions on educating someone to university entrance level and then have a non-NZer take their place and get a high level job here while the NZer gets fobbed of with some minion position.

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  12. insider (845 comments) says:

    “BP oil spill: means higher prices at the pumps.”

    Not necessarily. It’s a trifling amount being spilt compared to demand of 80mbpd. Compliance might add cost but that is only at start up and is minor compared to profitablity of a good well. Clean up will be absorbed by BP – unlikely they can pass it on.

    Biggest cost impact is probably going to be on your insurance premiums.

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