Four more valedictories

July 25th, 2014 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

First is Rajen Prasad:

 I have been entrusted with the roles like New Zealand’s Race Relations Conciliator, Human Rights Commissioner, adjudicator in immigration cases, and * Chief Families Commissioner. But nothing prepares you for your life as a politician. In the eyes of many, I became useless, self-interested, untrustworthy, and just a bloody politician overnight. Such is the contempt in which we are held, but that reputation is neither accurate nor deserved. I have the utmost respect for all my parliamentary colleagues across the House. I have never worked with a more hard-working group of individuals dedicated to providing 24/7 for the nation and for their constituents.

A nice reminder that most MPs are very hard working and dedicated people. Yes there are some bad eggs, but they are the minority.

I have been asked to speak directly to Mrs Macindoe of Hamilton, Tim’s mother, who wants to know why I am always mean towards her son when debating in the House. Tim has been unable to convince her otherwise. Mrs Macindoe, I am speaking to you. I count your son as a friend, and we have travelled together through China and Mongolia with our partners. Tim is a perfect gentleman and on every occasion outside this House we act as friends and we always inquire about each other’s health. It is the nature of life in this Chamber to debate vigorously when our values lead to different policy prescriptions, but we remain civil, we remain supportive, we remain friends, and I count you as one of them and, through you, everybody else. 

Nicely said.

I want to make a few comments about ethnic affairs and immigration. But first I want to acknowledge the current ethnic members of this Parliament: Raymond Huo, Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi, Melissa Lee, and Jian Yang. Although we come from different sides of the House, we collectively understand ethnic issues and the demands of our communities. However, I wonder whether the nature of these demands is fully understood in the various courts of this Parliament. There are 500,000 members of ethnic communities in New Zealand, and this is our constituency. These communities have come to see ethnic MPs as their link to our formal systems. In addition, they have a not unreasonable expectation that we will be their advocates, their advisers, and their champions. We are required to be present at all their major events and functions, to speak at all of them, to act like their electorate MPs. So for ethnic MPs the country becomes our electorate and there is no end to the constituency matters that we have to deal with.

Sadly Labour may end up with no Asian MPs after the election. Hell they may end up with no List MPs at all!

I have seen a suggestion that all MPs should prepare an individual annual report on what work we have done as a way of informing our people. This is a sensible idea and could be useful in reaching over the media to inform people more widely. Instead, what is reported is how many press statements we put out, how many Official Information Act requests we lodge, or how many questions for written answer we ask. These have become the measuring stick, never mind the fact that most of them are never published, and that many are binned immediately after they have been received. 

Hmmn, I think he is referring my league tables. The trick is to get them published, and if you never put any out – well …

(Labour): Tēnā koe, Mr Assistant Speaker, ngā mihi nui, kia koutou, tēnā koutou katoa. I want to first of all acknowledge my buddy , and tell him that I have still got the photos from our trip to Taiwan and that I am planning to divulge them before I leave. I also want to acknowledge you, Mr Assistant Speaker, because you will make your valedictory next week, and I am also looking forward to that, and it has been a pleasure working with you. I want to acknowledge all members of Parliament whom I have served with, and I do so without rancour or criticism, because much to my surprise, over nearly 9 years in Parliament, I have found that despite furious debate about political difference, most MPs come here with sincere intent. 

It’s a pity we only get reminded of this as .

I know that some people think I was born a devil beast trade unionist, but my apprenticeship to the labour movement in this Parliament was forged in many different experiences and some very tough jobs. I grew up in a family where war and politics cast a long shadow. My grandfather Frederick Frost fought and was injured in Somme* in the First World War*. . That man started his first job at the age of 12 as a pit boy in a Northumberland mine. So if I am a bit rough around the edges, I think you probably get it now. He was elected the Labour MP for New Plymouth in the wartime Labour Government led by Michael Joseph Savage* and then Peter Fraser*. . My father Verdun Frost was a navigator in World War II* and patrolled the Pacific. Like his father he was a declared socialist. My mother, the very staunch and Catholic Patricia Mary Te Rata Mahuta Kerr, came from an ancestry of Irish rebels. She was very stroppy. I was scared of her. Tau Henare descends from that line, so you kind of know what I mean. You cannot help your relatives. My parents instilled in their two sons and two daughters the hope of a better and fairer life for all in New Zealand. My generation profited from their sacrifice and hard work. Early Labour Governments meant that I, along with John Key, grew up in a State house and benefited from State-funded health and education. That gave me choices that younger people do not have today. I had the freedom and security to be different and to challenge. With my troublemaking heritage, it was inevitable that I would be drawn to the anti-war nuclear movements and the remote hippy generation of the 1970s. It led me on a journey that was both good and bad. I dropped out of education. I had a range of interesting and boring jobs. I travelled through dangerous countries, and I did some silly things. Some will have read the story of my drug addiction, when I was a younger person in the 1970s. Despite treatment and recovery years ago, I reluctantly agreed for my story to be published this year. It is still such a taboo topic, so hard to talk about. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done. I blame no one but myself for my mistakes, and I have made plenty. Drug-taking was a means of defiance against the establishment and seemed cool at the time. I know that the threat of law-breaking or addiction did not stop me, and the opprobrium of society made no difference. I want to say that smoking a joint did not lead me to other drugs; criminals selling drugs did. That is why I believe that the war on drugs has been a total failure. That is why I think it is time for this Parliament to treat drug abuse as a health problem, not a criminal offence—that means properly funded addiction treatment. I also believe it is time for politicians in this House to decriminalise personal marijuana use and take the crooks out of the business. 

A very interesting background, and I agree with her on drugs.

Hon Dr (Minister of Māori Affairs):

I will just tell you straight that I go up and down the country talking to my people and I say to you—and I will say it again now—that Parliament is a Westminster system that is all about the vote. If you are able to secure the vote you are able to secure change and progress for you and your party. It is not just how loud you protest outside is or the issues you bring up; this is about sitting at the table. You have got to be at the table. That is why parties go to extraordinary lengths to try to do deals and be at the table and so on, and that is great—that is the system. But just know that that is the system. I really feel strongly that there should be programmes introduced in schools. This is what we did with * Te Reo Māori. It was slipping away—gone burger. Then, suddenly, we brought in * kōhanga reo and started teaching the little ones. Now they are reading the news in Māori. Now they are working for companies. Now they have got their own companies, kōrero Māori ana. And it works. So what about if we had some lessons in schools about our system of Government: what it is, what you do there, how you make laws and you get rewards and things for your people?

If you’re not at the table, then you’re just a series of press releases.

Well, you think you know your Prime Minister. I am going to just give you the real Prime Minister. You are a strong, forceful leader, albeit with a strange sense of humour.

Very strange :-)

I have got a lot of * mokopuna. They are all here—downstairs, I guess. I have got one great mokopuna. He is 1 now, and his name is Kanohi Tanga Utu Kanohi Tū Hanga. I want to speak to him now. E moko, in 30 years you can become the new co-leader of the Māori Party. You will have more than 20 Māori caucus members and be deciding which ones should be in the House of Representatives—in Parliament—and which ones should be in the “Upper Treaty Senate”, which, 30 years ago, began with our constitutional review. Moko, in 30 years’ time you will be dealing with a * superministry called * Whānau Ora. In my time, they had separate ministries for social development, education, employment, and so on. Moko, in 30 years’ time you will be dealing with the chief executive officers of Māori statutory boards all around the country. In my time we had to have a * hīkoi, we had to have lots of hui, and we had to have a scrap in * Cabinet to get the first one up and running in Auckland. In 30 years’ time you will be dealing with a “Minister for the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Negotiations”. That is right—that is the one who replaced the * Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations after all the settlements were completed. In my time, when we got the declarations signed they said it would not mean anything—by the way, that is what they said about the Treaty as well. Moko, in 30 years’ time you will be dealing with all the * Whare Ōranga Ake units that have been created. Back in my time they were called prisons and did not provide any rehabilitation programmes. Oh yes, moko, keep up with your English language, because in 30 years’ time * Te Reo Māori will be the official language of New Zealand, spoken by all. And so, mokopuna, grow strong; you have much to do. * Tēnā tātou.

A vision for NZ for his grandchildren.

Hon :

There is nowhere where I feel more at peace than in the still tranquillity of the * Whanganui River, * Te Awa Tupua, our life blood, our tribal heartbeat, the sacred umbilical cord that unites us from the mountain to the sea. Every year our iwi come together to connect as one through the journey that we call the Tira Hoe Waka. In many ways the last 18 years in this place have been like that same journey that we take: a journey of hope, hope for a better future for our * mokopuna. 

Like Sharples, a focus on the future.

And my beloved friend-in-arms Parekura—I miss him so much. Whenever I think of Parekura, I think of how important he has been to my family. My baby, my mokopuna* whom I have raised, Piata, who would have given anything to be Ngati Porou*, , used to come home from school and say to me “Māmā*, , can I just say that I am?”, because she wanted Parekura to be her real pāpā.

Oh, that is so nice.

 And Darren Hughes—that amazing young man Darren Hughes—who I thought would one day be the leader of the Labour Party and who in fact will end up being the Prime Minister of New Zealand. I miss him so much; he was a great young man, a beautiful young man.

If Darren was still an MP, I suspect he would be Deputy Leader by now.

 I want to take this opportunity to mihi to somebody in the House for whom I have huge respect and regard, and that is Hekia. Tēnā koe ki te Minita*. . I have absolutely loved your passionate belief that all of our children have a right to succeed in education. Second-best is not part of your vocabulary, and only excellence will do. You know that we are preparing the next leaders of this nation. I believe totally in what you are doing and I want to say that today in this House.

And the results for young Maori doing NCEA are improving significantly.

I cannot leave this House without recognising a real friend, Chris Finlayson. Chris is the greatest Treaty settlements Minister that we have ever had in this country.

If National gets a third term, we may see the last historical settlement completed!

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42 Responses to “Four more valedictories”

  1. Redbaiter (8,901 comments) says:

    “Such is the contempt in which we are held, but that reputation is neither accurate nor deserved.”

    Actually, in the case of Rajan Prasad, I think it is deserved more so than most.

    A serial trougher and politician who has produced more racially divisive rhetoric in NZ than many, it was a sad sad day that we allowed Mr. Prasad any input into our governance.

    His legacy will be a society far more fractured and divided than it ever was before he assumed office.

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  2. Pete George (23,567 comments) says:

    One can only imagine what Redbaiter would be like as Race Relations Conciliator or MP in comparison.

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  3. Redbaiter (8,901 comments) says:

    As for Pita Sharples and Tariana Turia, they make Prasad look like an amateur in respect of divisive separatist words and actions. They have rent this country asunder along racist lines and it will take decades to recover. If ever.

    The antidote to Turia’s and Sharple’s separatism and racism is the 1LAW4ALL party. Consider voting for it this election.

    (The Conservative Party too is taking a stand against racism and separatism, but not as strongly as 1LAW4ALL.)

    I cannot leave this House without recognising a real friend, Chris Finlayson. Chris is the greatest Treaty settlements Minister that we have ever had in this country.

    Tells you so much about National Party policies.

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  4. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    Falling out of love with the Conservatives, Reddy? Do you think the one law for all nutcases will be your next bet for a viable political force?

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  5. Manolo (13,775 comments) says:

    As for Pita Sharples and Tariana Turia, they make Prasad look like an amateur in respect of divisive separatist words and actions. They have rent this country asunder along racist lines and it will take decades to recover. If ever.

    Well said. But there are fools who believe the above pair have done wonders for Maoridom, when in fact these troughers have only looked after themselves.

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  6. Yogibear (366 comments) says:

    Does Claudette Hauiti get a valedictory?

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  7. RRM (9,924 comments) says:

    Farewell Rajen.

    I shall remember you as some guy whose face I can’t even picture and whose accomplishments I am completely in the dark to.

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  8. Ashley Schaeffer (487 comments) says:

    Good riddance to the lot of them.

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  9. David Garrett (7,281 comments) says:

    I’m sorry DPF, but there is a great deal NOT to be all warm and fuzzy about in those speeches…Prasad for a start, was a total waste of space…I never heard him make a speech – on the rare occasions he actually made one – that had any impact at all…I used to watch opposition colleagues when one of their number was making a speech…when your own side is clearly underwhelmed, why wouldn’t the rest be?

    Fenton…a union hack who never evidenced having any kind of original thought…one of those who took every junket she could get…similarly ignored by her own colleagues…

    Sharples…Sadly he is probably right in his predictions for 30 years hence…I continue to be puzzled by DPF’s apparently sincerely held belief that the Treaty gravy train is somehow going to stop when the “historic” grievances have been dealt with…usually for the third or fourth time…It will never end…I am VERY confident of that…when my stroppy daughter considers politics as a career in 20 years or so the train will still be steaming…

    Turia…the thing I will always remember of her is her dogged insistence that gangs are “just another form of whanau”…she did it every time I referred to gangs in a speech of mine…but she always did it sotto voce so as not to be recorded in Hansard…I always tried to counter that by referring to what she was saying in my own speech…But when you have a bloody Justice Minister – Power – who thinks gang members should be flown at taxpayers’ expense to a hui on “the drivers of crime”, what the hell do you expect I guess…

    And how interesting that Mrs Turia thinks Darren Hughes will one day be PM..who knows…if you are a leftie all sins can be forgiven, no matter how grave or when they happened…

    Yogi: I believe every departing member is entitled to a valedictory…I very much doubt Ms Hauiti will make one…If she does, perhaps she could use it to reveal how much taxpayers cash she filched…

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  10. kowtow (8,485 comments) says:

    “Does Claudette Hauiti get a valedictory?”

    Only if she can charge it to us through some permanent political class benefits card.

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  11. David Garrett (7,281 comments) says:

    RRM: To the best of my knowledge Prasad never did anything of note in his political career…he was there solely because of the colour of his skin, and his impeccable left wing credentials…

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  12. Tarquin North (298 comments) says:

    I think we should all be thankful Darren Hughes isn’t P.M.

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  13. David Garrett (7,281 comments) says:

    And isn’t it instructive that Turia regards Finlayson so warmly? “The greatest treaty settlements Minister we ever had”..OR “the man who has handed out more money to settle grievances that have been ‘settled’ before than any of his predecessors, and left the way open for more still”??

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  14. Redbaiter (8,901 comments) says:

    “Do you think the one law for all nutcases will be your next bet for a viable political force?”

    One thing you can bet your house on- if the communists call anyone a “nutcase”, you know whoever they’re referring to is speaking a truth that is embarrassing to the left.

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  15. Redbaiter (8,901 comments) says:

    “And isn’t it instructive that Turia regards Finlayson so warmly?”

    Finlayson is only one in the team. The whole National Party has sucked up to these opportunist race baiters in the most nauseating way.

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  16. David Garrett (7,281 comments) says:

    Red: Finlayson has huge influence over Nat policy in the “Treaty” area…and IIRC he and Collins are the only lawyers in their caucus..oh, except for “all they need is love” Borrows…And he (Finlayson) is a lawyer who has practised extensively in the Treaty gravy train, so knows the route well…

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  17. david (2,557 comments) says:

    What struck me was something that started in Prasad’s speech and echoed through the others.

    That was that they all seemed to consider their constituencies ans a defined subgroup of the New Zealand population at large. They have never been called on this yet I can imagine the outrage and frothing at the mouth if an MP were to define his constituency as only the plumbers of New Zealand or as white male university graduates.

    I may be a bit naiive but was under the impression that all MPs took an oath to work for the betterment of all of New Zealand, without fear or favour but I appear to be sadly and idealistically mistaken.

    Of course the worst of all is standing again. Begone Hone and don’t darken our doorways again.

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  18. thor42 (971 comments) says:

    “If National gets a third term, we may see the last historical settlement completed!”

    I’ll believe it when I see it (which I doubt) but taxpayers’ money will continue to flow to at least some of the iwi.

    The reason? A couple of the iwi have relativity clauses in their settlements (that the Crown was foolish enough to sign).
    These clauses (IIRC) fix those iwis’ settlements as a percentage of the total, so when another iwi settles, these tribes get a top-up.

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  19. Gulag1917 (919 comments) says:

    Weak as water National who allow the tail to wag the dog.

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  20. Bob R (1,375 comments) says:

    ***That was that they all seemed to consider their constituencies ans a defined subgroup of the New Zealand population at large. They have never been called on this yet I can imagine the outrage and frothing at the mouth if an MP were to define his constituency as only the plumbers of New Zealand or as white male university graduates.***

    @ David,

    That is the reality of multiculturalism it seems. Non-european groups and their representatives are quite open in pursuing the ethnic interests of their group.

    Europeans of course are meant to be above that. They are meant to focus on universal interests, not just openly promote their own group. It will be interesting to see if that changes as Europeans become minorities. Parties like this one might become more prevalent.

    http://www.pakehaparty.com/

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  21. Gulag1917 (919 comments) says:

    Multicuralism; the lion and lamb lie down together but only the lion gets up.

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  22. Longknives (4,753 comments) says:

    Good Riddance- Am I the only person that remembers Turia tried to pull strings to get her ‘cuzzies’ out of Prison?
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=227230
    Disgraceful.
    And don’t get me started on her comments than non-Maori are merely “Visitors to this Country”…

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  23. publicwatchdog (2,596 comments) says:

    Will John Key give a valedictory speech if he loses Helensville? Kind regards – Penny Bright

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  24. nasska (11,510 comments) says:

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/auclgthxe6nmhie/Cuckoo%208.jpg

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  25. hj (7,023 comments) says:

    There are 500,000 members of ethnic communities in New Zealand, and this is our constituency.
    ……
    I posted yesterday. In U.K 1 in 5 whites vote Labour, but they do well where there are large numbers of migrants. People are voting along ethnic lines and who they think is looking after them.

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  26. Colville (2,268 comments) says:

    moonbatloon @ 6.19

    Yes John Key will ride a pink and blue strped flying whale into the chamber to deliver it after you beat him.

    I will be there to buy you a drink. Nothing but Clicquot 1782 !

    Good fucking luck with that dream.

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  27. duggledog (1,558 comments) says:

    Penny, John Key will not lose Helensville or come within a country mile of it. They love him out there.

    D. Garrett – I know what you mean about 30 years hence but I am not so sure. There is an awful, awful lot of resentment in the constituency right around NZ about what people see as vast amounts of time and money spent on ‘making things right’ for Maori, but all anyone ever sees is bad news coming from that percentile of the population, from crime stats to DPB stats to underachievement in schools to just plain everyday nasty swaggering aggressiveness. And the vast majority don’t like making clearly poor returns on a vast investment in a minority.

    In spite of all the money spent on te reo, it’s still languishing as an example.

    I think the good times for Maori are right now. Let me put this simply and somewhat brutally, and I apologise in advance, but Maori as a race cost everyone else a shit load of money. All across the board, there is little argument over that, input of $ compared to actual output of $

    There’s only one place that money can come from in a country like NZ (where you can’t drill, mine or get locals to milk cows in Southland) and that’s making a bigger, more powerful economy, and that’s getting a few million immigrants who have little time for Maori culture beyond a passing interest.

    Ergo, 30 years hence, the percentile who identify as Maori are going to be enormously diluted. Ergo, erosion of power, voice etc.

    Maori are terrified of the Asian immigration volume because they know full well they care not one jot about Maori grievances. But the Asians (etc) are coming – oh yes.

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  28. David Garrett (7,281 comments) says:

    Somemtimes, just sometimes, there is a kernel of truth in what Penny Not So writes…but John Key losing helensville? what was his majority last time, 20,ooo or something??

    Delusional Penny dear…simply delusional…

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  29. hj (7,023 comments) says:

    David Round on referenda suggests that there is an unspoken fear that the liberal elite will be undermined and that it is they who dominate the political system. He gave the example of minarets in Switzerland. In Switzerland they had a refernda on immigration. Key and his minions wouldn’t like that would they!?

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  30. itstricky (1,831 comments) says:

    Europeans of course are meant to be above that. They are meant to focus on universal interests, not just openly promote their own group. It will be interesting to see if that changes as Europeans become minorities. Parties like this one might become more prevalent.

    Nuthin’ like a bit of FUD to get the insecure to come out of their shells and shout from the rooftops. You are being played my friend, grow some confidence and embrace the world (all of it that is)

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  31. hj (7,023 comments) says:

    David Round:
    We might argue as to whether New Zealanders are more like Californians or the Swiss. But my point here is not to argue for or against their introduction to New Zealand. Rather, I observe that quite a few citizens, here and there, have raised binding referendums as a good thing, and I ask why they want them. We have long done without them; in the past they have never occurred to us to be necessary; why, then, are so many people talking about them now?

     

    The answer is, surely, that the desire for binding referendums arises out of a disillusionment with politics and politicians; out of a belief that politicians are increasingly unresponsive to the desires and needs of ordinary citizens. Referendums are therefore intended to bypass politicians, or at the very least to act as a stick always urging them to pay attention, and threatening them with disgrace and countermanding instructions if they do not. The demand for these referendums is a symptom of a democracy that is already not functioning as it should.

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  32. David Garrett (7,281 comments) says:

    it’s an idiot: When the Muslims get to 5% my son, they will beat up your missus – assuming you fancy the opposite sex – for “immodesty” just like they will others’…

    You plaintively crying: “but I supported diversity!” won’t make a blind bit of difference…you embrace all you like son…don’t expect the rest of us to be so damn stupid…

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  33. big bruv (13,901 comments) says:

    DG

    The only honest, or correct thing that Bright has said in my time on this blog is that she has not paid her rates.

    The rest is just bullshit.

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  34. hj (7,023 comments) says:

    itstricky
    When do Chinese get their taste. China has 55 ethnicities. Han make up over 91%?

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  35. David Garrett (7,281 comments) says:

    …and if you are a gay boy they will behead you if they catch you lurking around the local cottage…and squealing: “But Islam adds so much to our society!” will not help you…

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  36. big bruv (13,901 comments) says:

    DG

    I read your comments on Turia with some interest, your words describe my feelings toward the lady perfectly. In always got the impression that she would forgive any Maori any crime at all simply because they were Maori.

    This of course is one of (if not the main) problem with Maori and crime. Not one of their leaders is prepared to speak out against the scum who commit the crimes. In non Maori society non Maori criminals are almost universally despised, they are rightly shunned by the rest, this does not happen in Maori circles.

    Turia is a racist, of that there is no doubt, she also thinks that Maori should not be locked up for the crimes they commit simply because they are brown.

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  37. David Garrett (7,281 comments) says:

    BB: I think you are largely correct in your analysis of Turia’s world view…did you also read Sharples’ completely dishonest statement about today’s prisons not offering anything in the way of rehab programmes? The reality of course is that there are more programmes on offer now than ever before…and while the mainstream is moving away from the “criminals are victims too” bullshit, it is alive and well in the Maori Party

    I still remember the speeches on 3 strikes…the first and only time I agreed with Hone the racist when he said “the law will impact disproportionately on Maori..” I said “Absolutely it will Hone…just so long as your people are disproportionately represented in the violent crime stats”… they can fix that particular “disproportionality” tomorrow…just stop bashing and robbing people…

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  38. big bruv (13,901 comments) says:

    What did Hone have to say in reply?

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  39. Nukuleka (327 comments) says:

    Darien Fenton- another druggie, another reason to say thank God she’s gone from our parliament. Interesting to see that DPF and Darien have something in common.

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  40. David Garrett (7,281 comments) says:

    BB: He never replied…he eventually refused to go on either TV or radio with me to argue the issue…

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  41. itstricky (1,831 comments) says:

    it’s an idiot: When the Muslims get to 5% my son, they will beat up your missus – assuming you fancy the opposite sex – for “immodesty” just like they will others’…

    Like I said, nothing like a bit of FUD to bring out the scared intolerants shouting from the roof tops. Had you ever wondered to yourselves how these things, like race and religious wars, start in the first place? Perhaps it’s “innocent” comments like yours?

    No, silly question. You haven’t ever wondered that. Clearly.

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  42. wiseowl (895 comments) says:

    DG.
    On Finlayson and his huge influence over policy on Treaty.

    It just emphasises the lack of ability of MP’s to think for themselves and stand up for the truth.

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