is a love story from Aotearoa, the world's geographical edge; and from our
country's social edge - from within the two major Maori street gangs, the
Black Power and the Mongrel Mob. The context of the narrative is a quest
to reduce the community demand for crystal methamphetamine, 'Kiwi-crack'
or 'P', by enrolling the leadership of both gangs in a movement towards a
better future for their people. NZEDGE has invited Denis O'Reilly, social
activist, coach, businessman, to tell his story of kia whakarite – the
desire to put things right.
This is the last posting of Nga Kupu Aroha. A chapter closes. The D
has lifted his eyes skyward and promises to lift his performance too. He
reckons now that he’s 60 he’s dangerous with insight and experience.
Don’t play the Last Post yet though. The man says he feels revived and
re-energised, excited even. He’s taking up doctoral studies and promises
six on-line essays (Blessays) for 2013. He sends Yuletide greetings and
wishes blessed love to us all.
Once Was Gangman Styles
In only his second posting of the year
Denis toys with Korean dyslexia and recognises his former national role as the gangman.
Approaching his 60th year he reflects on the death in 1998 of his
brother Laurie O’Reilly from cancer and muses that “like Greg King: a
good man and a great lawyer can be with us one day and gone the next. By
our own direct hand, lifestyle, genes, or force majeure, the consequence
of death is the same. You are no longer around”. But the D isn’t
planning to quit and is working on the next phase of his life.
Reflecting on the past few months he links together the Police
Association assertion that gang members are infiltrating the Police with
the less-than-legal tactics used to prosecute the Red Devils in Nelson
and concludes that spooks have a propensity to create a cinematic-like
script. The Lowe family get praise for their ‘on-land sanctuary’ at Cape
Kidnappers. Romney earns respect for his dignified ‘whakamana’ speech of
concession. ‘Paka’ Kevin Tamati and Policeman John Te Ngaire are lauded for
their efforts as ‘tuakana’ male role models. Marilyn Waring’s 60th, “Kai
in The Bay”, and a local cultural pathways project all get brief
treatment, and the posting concludes with a Waiohiki tale to mark the
visit of Charles and Camilla for the Diamond Jubilee celebrations. God
Save the Queen.
To Understand What Is
This is the fiftieth positing of Nga Kupu Aroha. Since the 49th
the writer has left things fallow for six months of reflection before
blogging again. Past postings are tabulated, and familiar issues —
gangs, policing and methamphetamine — that provide the grist to
D’s work are updated and discussed in the context of hope and love.
Deck the Halls
The spring has left his feet and D hurtles into summer, looking
backwards whilst planning ahead to Taape’s 60th birthday party in early
January. He muses on altruism, mulls on the split between Mana and
Maori, and offers Mier’s Theory of Synergy as an explanative formula for
the MMP pragmatics of compromise. He reckons that its going to be a
tough year fiscally and that Maori issues will come under the blowtorch
of retrenchment whilst at the other end of town a crew of white-boys
from Timaru are alleged to have bilked New Zealanders out of a sum that is
nearly double the total of all Treaty settlements. Go figure! There’s a
little story about the now 17 year old Maori Yale University student, Ngaa Raunira Pumanawawhiti, and D concludes the kid is too smart, too
self-aware and too truthful to become a politician. There’s a reflexive
tract about the past year and, highly aware of failings, an implicit
commitment to do better in 2012. We are invited to the Waiohiki Marae
Christmas Celebration, told about ‘Talent Upload’ — a digital talent
quest — and led to the third Maori Motown which features Chad Chambers,
the Maori Rod Stewart. Blessings on us all, he reckons, with more words
Circenses nil Panem
As you might expect, Den has a slightly
different cut on the Rugby World Cup and a Canadian shaggy dog tale to
go with it. He proposes that the RWC investment should be used to create
an ‘Event NZ’ brand that generates wealth that can be shared — no good
having circus without bread. With the election soon upon us, it’s time
for the administration to be held accountable by the electorates. Den
shares his thoughts on the recent term of the Government of the day and
urges voters to have their say or hold their tongue for the next three
years. Finally there’s an uplifting report about the fantastically
successful Waiohiki Charity Art Auction and heart warming generosity of
Rowena and Kevin Roberts.
Knight, Might & Right
Unusually, Denis covers a limited span of
topics in this posting: mainly a recount of the wellbeing of the
people’s Knight, Sir Peter Leitch and his full on support for the people
of Christchurch. We have a well informed korero on the similarities of
the situation in England now and in 1981, as regards youth rioting, and
as to why — although always possible — it's unlikely to happen here.
Kia Pakeke Ahau
Hawkes Bay-based community leader Denis O'Reilly helps bury three
significant men who have influenced his life: the koroua Joe Tuahine
Northover (84), Fr Terry Dibble (78) — "a worker priest ready to take on
the modern day Mammon of the aggressive free market"; and William "Burma
Bill" Maung (91) — "a God-fearing anarchist and Bible-carrying
Buddhist"; after four decades Den leaves the warrior lifestyle and lays
down his patch to take up a new role; that of a Black Power pakeke, to
go back to first principles and build from a base on the marae; a 21st
Century New Zealand community founded on Maori values but open to and
inclusive of the land and world at large.
Crouch, Touch, Pause, Engage
In the wake of the quake D goes swimming
in the Ahuriri pond and reflects on the local signs of nature’s great
seismic shifts and the reality that in Aotearoa we do indeed live on the
edge. He reckons that along with the people of Canterbury its time to
pick each other up at a community level and to forgo the badmouthing of
the poor and less engaged that has seemed to dominate the national
discourse in recent years. After a bit of blarney about the upcoming Hui
& Huilli he canvasses the Report of the Welfare Working Group and sees
signals of a big shake up coming for the generally vulnerable. After
describing the intent of the whanau ora policy congratulates Te Puni
Kokiri for delivering a sort of social Civil Defence kit and supporting
whanau to plan for the future. D visits issues of youth offending and
gang policies and, in light of the fact that we might all need each
other’s help, calls time for a bit of reflection: time to crouch and get
ready; touch one another to let each know the other’s there and to give
reassurance; pause to reflect on what we’re going to do and how we’ll do
it; and engage with each other with goodwill and intensity such as we’ve
never done before.
Beneath the Kahungunu Flag
D bids welcome to 2011, gives his cut on
the annual furnace of Waitangi, confesses to a struggle with the booze
and signs up for FebFast. He tells of a trip to the deep white South for
the unveiling of pou memorialising the late Elespie and Ian Prior, and
visits O’Reilly family haunts in mid-Canterbury. Dives into the
Foreshore and Seabed legislation and crosses swords with local lobbyist
Bill Sutton who has a differing viewpoint on the Hawke’s Bay coastline.
Reports on a successful retreat with Black Power and Mongrel Mob fathers
and sons convened by NYNZ headhunter John Wareham resulting in the
“Otatara Accord”. And gets excited about the upcoming Maori Motown 2 at
Waiohiki. Hey, new year or not it’s business as usual.
We’ve seen grim days at Pike River as a
result of foul and explosive gases. Den identifies another toxic vent in
the form of Minister of Police Judith Collins as expressed in her recent
address to a Maori police leadership forum. He points out that one would
expect a Minister of Police to operate from an evidential base rather
from prejudice, and provides expert evidence and informed opinion that
suggest the need for policies diametrically opposite to those voiced by
the Minister. D cautions that if we don’t take notice of the signs, we
are likely to end up in a dark and dangerous hole.
Honour the Past, Enjoy the Present, Prepare for the Future
The D provides a pot pourri of experience and opinion, starting with
the good health of his Maori spuds and the benefits of a mild winter and
moist spring. He pays tribute to the dead: his brother in law Hori
Tareha; friend Te Miringa Hohaia; Black Power brother “Nana Boy”, and
activist film maker Mereta Mita. David Garrett gets a serve, Peter
Leitch a fillip, and Nathan Haines a visit. We traverse the philosophy
behind Toi Rangatahi Waiohiki, have a brief report on the Black Power
40th anniversary held In Lambton Quay in the Capital, tut over
Wairoa, and suggest a John Wareham facilitated event in the New Year
“Fatherhood, Gangs, and Choices”.
It’s an Ill Wind
It's been a long time between Nga Kupu Aroha posts but Denis reckons he’s been suffering less from writers’ block and more from stating an unpalatable and unwelcome truth. Based on Judith Collins’ pronouncement that the new prison at Wiri will act as a $1.2 billion economic multiplier, D concludes that our criminal justice system has become a cynical business wherein – as Colin James puts it – “social and human defeat is trumpeted as economic victory”. It’s a grim read: expect no relief.
Love is the word for Mumday
The pace stays on. D tells the story of the Hawke’s Bay Black Power’s 35th Anniversary and the leadership’s stance against the manufacture, distribution and use of methamphetamine. He concedes that there is a new generation of members who need to be told about the deleterious effects of the substance. Helen Mason has turned 95 and Den celebrates her contribution to the Village. Martin Cooper has just raised 50, and he gets a salute as well. A new book “Listening to Voices in Four Hawke’s Bay Schools” telling the story of alternatives to school suspensions and exclusions has just been published. D reckons we should each buy one for our local school. Another ANZAC Day has come and gone, and with it the Pilot City Awards, The Robson Address and the 20th annual Walk for Unity and Unity Dinner, these unique Hawke’s Bay events remind us that peace is more than the absence of war. And
it's Mumday coming up – love’s the word.
Travelling faster than a speeding bullet, the D has run a series of successful events, celebrating nationhood, and getting that “yes you can beat it” message out about the possibility of recovery from methamphetamine addiction. He tells the tale of another successful Irish Maori Hui & Huilli featuring the beautiful Noelle McCarthy, virtuoso violinist Elena, and generating close to $40,000 in sales in the charity art auction – the highlight of which was the purchase of a carved kauri throne by the king of marketing. Kevin Roberts. Den describes Maori Motown at Otatara Pa and notes that whilst the press will pounce on anything salacious to do with Millie Holmes they’re less interested in her dad’s hard work in building community resilience against methamphetamine. He reports that guitarist Joe Walsh has dipped into his own pocket to help create a methamphetamine free Hawke’s Bay and recounts how the local community uses the Pa site as a safe site during civil defence emergencies. Finally, invoking the spirit of Shirley Smith and marking the retirement of Peter Wiliams QC he reckons the current Government is using Pharoah’s Rod too much and its time for a seasonal shake up and revival of the NZ Council of Civil Liberties and like bodies at a community level.
It’s the New Year, 2010, and Den and whanau are back from the Parihaka International Peace Festival, loins girded and ready for action. He tells stories of Parihaka the place, and Parihaka the event, and shares his presentation delivered at the Speaker’s Forum. Den thinks that Hone Harawira’s cut on changes to the foreshore and seabed legislation is about right – put the seabed and foreshore into Maori title, make it inalienable, guarantee access to all New Zealanders. He gives the background to an upcoming Court battle to be faced by his sons – the price to be paid for confronting methamphetamine
– and sets the scene for a fresh year of effort in reducing the demand for methamphetamine by ensuring the availability of recovery treatment services – no leaping, just chipping away.
The Practice of Love
At year’s end Den tells of the extraordinary partnership between the Mongrel Mob Notorious and the Salvation Army in establishing a methamphetamine rehabilitation programme at Kakahi. He recounts the recent journey of the Mob and their arrival at the gates of the Citadel and how through courageous leadership on the part of Roy Dunne the Notorious chapter’s captain, pro-social change is afoot. Den describes the Consultancy Advocacy and Research Trust’s (CART) entry into its 20th year of community action and the opening of its new facility in Wellington by the Governor General His Excellency Sir Anand Satyanand. He says that the presence of the Governor General and senior officers of the New Zealand Police at this event, and the presence of Ngati Tuwharetoa paramount chief Tumu Te Heu Heu at Kakahi for the graduation for the Mongrel Mob families who completed the rehab programme, are in themselves profound demonstrations of leadership and antidotes to the language of hate currently being used by some politicians. Den outlines his plans for 2010, the Parihaka Peace Festival, Maori Motown (with a message), and the quest to get more meth rehab units up and running. He wishes readers blessings and hopes they get to hear and speak words of love each day of the New Year.
It's the Putting White That Counts!
Den reckons it's alright to be white in Aotearoa. He says he's comfortable in his skin as a card-carrying Pakeha, a member of Tangata
Tiriti, and a paid up subscriber to the Treaty of Waitangi. He's a Kiwi,
belongs here, and is subject to conservation and protection orders. He recalls past dealings with Hone Harawira but concludes that despite some
frustrations with him Hone has an important role to play in our nation building. Den suggests that if he can't be included in Parliamentary
politics he returns to the politics of the street and focuses on politicising the brown proloteriat. Responding to Winston Peters'
challenge he could join the Maori gangs and lead them past their self defeating behaviours and Gonville lifestyles to become a new form of Nga
Tamatoa. Following the death of Martyn Sanderson, Den reflects on this man's life and his use of theatre to resolve Black vs White conflicts
and to right wrongs. He concludes "it's the putting white that counts".
Breathe Through the Nose
Denis clears his throat after a long winter, and proposes that our
politics have been captured by populism masquerading as democracy. He
reckons that we have seen racist laws at play in Whanganui, and that
these express the lingering apprehensions of Anglo-settler society.
Denis presents some upside down thinking around our prison system and
recommends that if we are hell bent on privatisation why not consider
Private Public Partnerships as a way forward. He says it's time to use
some Kiwi nouse, smell the air of freedom, and sense the air of human
potential and chance to develop productive partnerships. It's time to
shut up on talkback. It's time to breathe through the nose.
The Stub of Your Cheque Book
The D writes that it's what is recorded on the stub of our national
cheque book that indicates the relative value we put on issues. In the
area of criminal justice, despite the Government's stated commitment to
'top of the cliff' interventions rather than reliance on prison,
"crush and crate 'em" is the flavour of the day. D praises the
leadership of Dr Pita Sharples as Minister of Maori Affairs for getting
'buy in' from Maori street leaders towards a quest for peace on the
streets of Aotearoa and for his advocacy of Maori learners getting
access to tertiary education. There is korero about a possible spike in
the availability of P, an account and reflection on the death and burial of Nomad's
leader Denis "Mossie" Hines, and celebration at the graduation
of Te Rangatira Jack Tuhi "Ranga" from Massey University.
Stepping Back from the Precipice
Napier has seen an awful tragedy unfold, and Den reflects on these events and salutes his local Maori copper Len Snee. Den argues that
it's time for quiet support and reflection; to give space to the grieving, respect to the dead, and prayers for the injured.
"The poet and creative genius Alan Brunton once described Dr Ian Prior as having 'blood dangerous with utopias'. Ian has died and left us, grieving, yet still propelled by his legacy of action into continued efforts towards social justice. Den tells the story of Sandeep Chawla, Director of the Division for Policy Analysis and Public Affairs of the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime who, after a robust discussion with NZ gang members and drug dealers and users, suggests that one way for them to avoid disproportionate attention from the Police and media might simply to be a "little less annoying". Another St Patricks Day Hui & Huilli has gone off with great effect and a sense of locus for those who visited the ancient pa site, Otatara. There is praise for the continuing efforts of Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples who is out engaging Maori gang leaders and encouraging them to lead their crews away from criminality and anti-social behaviours and move towards a lifestyle built on a sense of identity as Maori, as whanau, and as members of
community. Den gets the chance to talk to benches of judges and shares O'Reilly's lore: " Focus on the good", "Assume the best",
"You'll see it when you believe it".
Reggae’s Doing Fine
It’s a new year and D is right into work. A bit of feedback about the Parihaka Peace Festival, engaging festival goers as participants rather than passive audiences, and bridging the cultural divide between Tangata Whenua and Tangata Tiriti. Den discusses the tragedy around Halatau Naitoko, a young Tongan father, accidentally shot dead by the Police. He commends the Minister and Commissioner for their restorative approach and encourages the gunman to face the Naitoko family and unload his burden. Den sticks up for Social Development Minister Paula Bennett who supported the gang member father of her granddaughter when he was before the Courts. Den reckons she has modelled good whanau leadership, and improved the chances both of a rehabilitated offender, and of loving, respectful relationships between the daughter, granddaughter, and father. Te Ururoa Flavell, stung by the tragic events in Murupara, has voiced his pain, saying that perhaps gang members shouldn’t be allowed on marae, or shouldn’t be gifted the tradition of tangihana. Den reckons that with leadership from within gangs and from within the body politic New Zealand Maori gangism can pass, and be replaced by a widely shared positive focus on personal achievement within a whanau hapu tribal complex. With Ragamuffin coming up, and the Marley whanau in town, Den reminisces about what happened after Bob’s visit to Aotearoa in 1979 and tells the tale of the Keskidee Aroha project, the rise of aggressive black consciousness, and the whakapapa of reggae and Rasta in Aotearoa. Waitangi Day or Bob Marley’s birthday, reggae’s doing fine.
Jesus Mary and Joseph!
Jesus Mary and Joseph its Christmas again. Den says his friend Jules
Older wished him 'Happy Holidays' but he reckons the holiday should be
given its full due. He thinks that the Holy Family would be demonised
these days with a possibly delusional mother, itinerant father,and child
of uncertain parentage. Den takes Garth McVicar to task over the Emery
affair and gives the sole of his shoe to Chris Trotter for calling the
Maori Party kupapa. He reckons too that MP Sua William Sio should opt
for sign language, canvasses the BIM's to the Ministers of Maori Affairs
and Social Development and waxes lyrical about Christmas with the whanau
Briefing to the Incoming Ministers
New leaders for tough times. Den welcomes "Mr O’Bama", and feels hopeful about Prime Minister John
Key because of his rapport with the Maori Party. He provides a briefing for incoming Ministers, outlining problematics including infanticide, high rates of crime, and high unemployment. Den proposes that Aotearoa should move into the tackle with upcoming unemployment and use downtime to improve whanau lives. He reckons that if the Kiwis can win the
Rugby League World Cup then taking a collegial approach across community
and government could also deliver a positive outcome for the tribe of
Tama Heihei Kaki Maro
The Whanganui River wends its way through the lives of many people.
For Den it has been the feature of the past month as he recalls some of
its sons, Rangitihi Rangiwaiata Tahuparae MNZM, 'Tahu', and Gabe
Tawhiti, separated both by time and type but linked by their mutual awa.
Gabe was a street warrior, stabbed to death in Wellington. Then, as now,
there was anger and hurt. The River elders encouraged redress through
the law and a quest to find ways for healing and peace. The 'Gabe', a
fiercely contested Black Power rugby league trophy, was the result. Den
recounts the build up to the 2008 match up at Mamaku. Tahu was a tohunga
knowledgeable both in ancient tribal lore and the protocols of
Parliament and the Crown. He translated Winston Churchill's riposte to
Hitler, when the latter said that he would wring England's neck like a
chicken. Churchill reportedly said "Some neck, some chicken".
Tahu's rendition was "Tama heihei, kaki maro" and Den reckons
that stiff necked roosters, both sinners and saints, better get ready
for difficult times. He shares thoughts from prison reformist Kim
Workman, criminologist John Pratt and counter-terrorism expert Dr Pete
Lentini, examines the issue of free market behaviours and our
suppressive approach to those who dare to be different.
Let He Who is Without Sin
Portrait of the activist as a young man; Paulo Freire, Latin America liberation theology and reflective action; pro-social change, community action, personal responsibility, and making change yourself;
criminalisation of gang membership, differential sentencing tariffs; Black Power, the UN, their Waitangi Treaty claim, and Moana
Jackson — jurisprudence expert; negative expenditure in the criminal justice sector; growth of the Maori family and the gang environment; moving forward, becoming engaged, less alienated and less
marginalised leading to the end of “gangism” through a natural and sustainable process in contrast with the present "make war" suppressive approach; turning your life around and second chance education; Maori volunteerism; the political use of the court of public opinion; James K Baxter – “Ballad of the Junkies and the Fuzz”, “Ballad of Calvary Street”; “Zion”.
Despite their Machiavellian crafts politicians demand presumption of innocence for themselves despite much ambiguity. The finance and investment sector is riddled with what seem to be shonky dealings yet remain kosher. One used a national icon, Colin Meads, to endorse themselves and propose that they are worthy vehicles of trust. It seems that moral panic, and prejudice-laden analysis of the behaviours of the poor and brown, has our politicians intending to attempt to overturn the test of the burden of proof and to reverse the presumption innocence for some castes in modern day Aotearoa. Sir Brian Lochore has called for an end to PCism and cited some curious
behavioural examples of times when things were better. Denis invokes the spirit of his late brother, Laurie O’Reilly, and in challenging the great man asks what being PC really is. Is it Patently Crazy as in the case of Sheriff Arapiro? Is it Politically Compliant as in the case of the Labour Party in terms of being poll driven on criminal justice issues rather than the creed of social justice in line with their core philosophy? Or is it Politically Correct in that the implicit criminal justice policies of a majority of the parties and politicians are “lock ‘em up and keep locking them up”? Denis reports from the front line on progress with the Black Power, Darksiders and Full Blooded Islanders, and tells of action research with the Mongrel Mob Notorious chapter which suggests that gang mums and dads have pretty much the same aspirations for their kids as do mainstream Kiwis. A little bit of reggae korero about Three Houses Down, House of Shem and Ragamuffin 09.
Friends and whanau of friends pass into the long night: Tam Wong
Shi, Joe Dread and Paris Magdalinos. A cross-cultural hari-mate at
Waiohiki, Jacob Scott and Para Matchitt provide sculptures, Jimmy Baxter
and Aeschylus the words. Denis reviews Te Wiki
o Te Reo Maori and likes what he hears. Asian apprehension about crime
unleashes the fury of the tiger and Mr Low invokes the threat of the
Triads. Baroness Vivien Stern claims NZ is creating criminals by
redefining problems of poverty as problems of crime. Denis believes we
need to forget about tougher sentences and rethink the destination and
application of our "justice dollars". Winter solstice means
time for planting and maybe some early crops, but like the outcomes of
our community action, "ma te wa", we'll wait and see.
Thud and Blunder
There is a sense of disquiet in Aotearoa and the nation is on edge over a spike in gang violence and series of vicious assaults and murders. Communities are crying ‘enough is enough’ and are looking to Government for action. Ombudsman Mel Smith
says rational debate in the sector is almost impossible. Denis reviews what’s going in England and suggests following the ‘customer conscious’ approach. While sewage continues to
pump into Hawke’s Bay the visual pollution of graffiti has the chattering classes all a twitter. New ideas that take into account the psychology of the perpetrator are required.
Heavy thinking about behavioural economics and the concept of Libertarian Paternalism.
Otatara a "Must-do" and frontline feedback from the 'Enough is
enough' march, Maatariki feasting and a little whiskey .
War and Peace
A review of good work in South Auckland with previously warring groups;
the system’s dilemma of how to react to pro-social gang leaders;
coping with the tough times when things go wrong (stick to the kaupapa
and say your karakia); big inflow of P-related product threatening to
wipe out progress of demand reduction strategies overnight; ANZAC has
become a day of national unity; Maori and Pakeha seem to get on better
when at war than when at peace; Napier Pilot City Trust works on this
with Unity Week and builds the Robson Collection as a resource for
building communities rather than prisons in a time when our numbers have
doubled in 20 years; Governor General Anand Satyanand gives the Robson
Lecture on the history of capital punishment and pays respects to
community volunteers; a 93rd birthday for Helen Mason.
In a crowded and diverse Easter calendar on the edge Den encounters
suicide and resists a presiding churchman’s self-righteousness “with
a quiver of arrows, sharpened arguments based on familiarity with
biblical text”. He presents another Hui & Huilli for St Paddy’s
Day, celebrating two rebel cultures, before contemporaneously
facilitating a community arts festival and a Black Power hui, then
visiting Ngati Dread in Ruatoria to confirm the roots of reggae and
Rasta in Aotearoa.
Cycle of Life
Denis notes the cycle of life as he gathers together the memories of
those who have recently passed, Sir Ed Hillary, Hone Tuwhare, Shirley
Smith, Del Adams, Ben Dalton Snr. Then it’s on to life in Aotearoa New
Zealand with the Waitangi Day furore over gangs on marae, Shane Jones
badmouthing Josh Masters of the Tribesmen and Killer Beez, and the
Government's get tough on graffiti intentions means it must be election
time. Musical notes around Warren Maxwell, Don McGlashan and the
Ragamuffin festival; and grave concerns over body snatching "a new
twist on the consequences of miscegany". Read on.
A new change-agent workforce in the making; pro social multi-gang
meetings in Mangere at a time of raised activity; New Zealand as a
Jansenist society; a bevy of social development bureaucrats but little
progress and much procrastination; National Radio relying on television
media personalities with ‘make-up deep’ analyses; mourning the dead
and paying respects to our living treasures; Rick Bryant’s Jubilation
Choir in the Old Church restaurant, “one host and a chalice of wine
please”; Christmas Blessings.
"Pull up, pull up": The
Psychology of Colonisation
Let's deal with the alleged terrorism and Tuhoe issue. The last
sounds heard by those at the controls immediately prior to the airship
tragedy at Mt Erebus reportedly were "Whoop whoop, pull up, pull
up". Erebus was in part due to 'white out' and the same phenomenon
- this time 'white out' manifest as the prevalence of a dominant world
view rather than as a meteorological circumstance - seems to have
metaphorically propelled New Zealand's 'ship of state' into another
How to Break Out
A headline from gangland: better employment and health; Managing
crime and punishment in New Zealand; restorative justice vs the Maricopa
Country chain-gang method; the passing of Joseph Roberts, mentor, coach
and American Eagle; gang policies in NY (community development) vs LA
(suppressive policing); recognition for Ecuador’s Latin Kings Tigilau
Ness documentary From Street to Sky; Robert Muldoon and
Rastafarianism; social rage directed into art; “music speaks louder
than words”; The coronation of Kingi Tuheitia; Bishop Paraone Turei’s
sermon affirming “whakakotahi (collective unity) and the desirability
of enabling Maori to be unique Papakainga: architecture, whanau housing
and the Hawkes Bay village settlement project.
Looking through a kaleidoscope
Tangis and tributes to two mates; “Maori rhythm”; the edge of
thinking and the brink of disobedience; abandoning the drive to
criminalize and imprison; Angela Davis visits Aotearoa and finds a
faithful following; social activism, and a call to an earlier way of
thinking and doing; looking through a kaleidoscope – suppression and
wasted human assets, or a criminal conspiracy?; intelligent “Kiwi”
policing, no legislation or local by-law needed; loose thinking and
moral panic; Zeppelin sightings in the South Island; the need for an
inclusive future vision; a good reason to get upset – the grand denial
of potential; gratitude, respect and admiration: a ‘celebration of
life’ party for Kaylene; prayers, rice and saki to fire up the new
kiln at Waiohiki; planting at Mataariki and the promise of a clear sky.
"Those that have ears let them hear"
Fire-fighting the gang issue in the wake of tumult and tragedy:
resolving a problem not mounting an apologia; a stabbing at the
courthouse sends scorched emotions tinder dry; warriors gather, tears on
tattooed faces, long nights of prayers and necessary korero as baby Jhia
is laid to rest in Te Rau o te Aroha urupa; Tipi Wehipeihana's haka
calls us to gather and return: "hold firm, hold firm"; MSD's
Wannabes report, Spergel's strategy and Baxter's philosophy provide the
strategic action headings for our collective action in Aotearoa;
"Still want terrorist legislation?" how 'bout: Divert,
Contain, Redirect; settler malaise, fear of the natives, indiscriminate
spraying of political bullets and the extinction of personal rights;
Hori, Hemi, David and Goliath, Utu, terrorism, metaphysical forces and
swirling spirits: "We are at a tipping point."
Nga mea o te ora ("The stuff of life")
Hui & Huilli: Respect to the twin steams that contribute to the
cultural flow of our land at Waiohiki for the global phenomenon of St.
Patrick's Day; a sparse church service and the Hamuera Ratana Silver
Band; Sir Tipene O'Regan's long and hilarious account of an historic
whanau liaison; the Governor General offers nation building words and
lays down a wero; a Maori Celtic Art Auction; Guinness, music,
whiskey, Ceili, Kai and cultural synergy; toasts "To who we
are", a call to party and an exchange full of wit and wisdom; hard
news at Wellington hospital; the tohunga and the priest; it's and/and
Father, not either/or; a hui in Jerusalem at Easter, a gathering of
apostles and "a sense of intergenerational transfer".
Arohamai (Forgive Me)
Feeding the soul at Parihaka a century since the passing of Tohu Kakahi
and Te Whiti o Rongomai, "the human pillars of passive resistance
in New Zealand"; a Festival with 7000 people clustered in
campsites; the formalities of powhiri and the beauty of korero and
waiata; remembrances of confiscation of land, imprisonment of people,
rape of women, looting, invasion, forcible ejection and illegal arrest
in 1881; postering about P ("beware of P and seek help if
hooked"); "start with bringing peace to your house, to your
street and onward"; meeting up with Te Ringa Mangu Dun Mihaka;
Unity Pacific, Batacuda Sound Machine and Kora; and the St Patrick's Day
Maori/Celtic Hui & Huilli at Waiohiki Marae Napier with Governor
General Anand Satyanand, Lady Thea Muldoon and Sir Tipene O'Regan in
attendance for long festivities.
"Thrive for the days destined to
"Thrive for the days destined to you" Maori Television
building a distinctive character into the nation; Ngati Pakeha; the
passing of Dame Te Atairangikaahu, the Kingitanga of Tuheitia;
strategies for Counties Manukau (165 ethnic groups, 39% of ppn <24);
inverting the language "at risk" becomes "at
promise"; Mokai Whenua Ora advances in Wellington through health,
education, sport and abstinence; building future whanau narrative;
creating traction for life-changing behaviors; community organizations
in action; lateral thinking applied to social justice; Kapa Haka
competition; drink, detox and meditation; Parihaka 07.
Manaakitanga and other matters
A tribute to the life of Sir Norman Perry, friend of Maori and guide
for our tribe Ngati Pakeha; on the street, the move from an exclusive
focus on brotherhood to an inclusive focus on familyhood as an answer to
the question “what does it mean to be a Maori gang member in Aotearoa
today?”; the Maori youth bulge and the size of our prison population,
its youthfulness, its disproportionate Maoriness and its confoundly
high rate of recidivism; a $135M meth bust and New Zealand as a target
for international criminal syndicates; Matariki; the lives and deaths of
the Kahui triplets; Maori feminism, mana wahine and mana tane; the Te
Puni Kokori framework for Maori potential based around Te Ao Amuri (the
future) and Te Ao Whanui (the global economy); and the concepts of
manaakitanga (unqualified caring) and putahi (interconnectedness).
Reo of the Nation
From P to Parihaka and the Pentagon, Den travels the inspirations
and issues that make us lively in Aotearoa 2006: the continued exposure
to te reo Maori and the repetitive cultural rituals that refuel the
soul; the Parikaha Interational Peace Festival and a debate held on the
site of Te Whiti’s house about an alternative approach to
methamphetamine; a new sense of cultural fusion in Taranaki; new
projects at the Waiohiki Creative Arts Village in Hawkes Bay and the
Mokai Whanau Ora project in Wellington; Maori Television; media tripe;
and Kiwi or Iwi? – “will we be brave enough to use a bicultural
approach to create a sense of place and space rather than a division?”
Crime and punishment
9,000 New Zealanders will be imprisoned by the 2010. About a
billion dollars is being spent on building more prisons. Denis notes
Finland had a higher rate of imprisonment than NZ, but halved it. Via a
Whanganui gang scrap between the Mongrel Mob and Hells Angels, a run-in
with Mayor Michael Laws, and a salute to Robert Muldoon’s
“intelligent pragmatism and genuine humanitarianism”, Denis makes a
challenge for sustainable strategies that are inclusive, that invest in
people’s lives and help them find what is more meaningful in their
lives than substance abuse and self-defeating behaviour.
Each Atom of that Stone
Denis traverses the 125th anniversary of Tareha Te Moananui MP and
the continuum of Maori cosmology, the execution of Stanley Tookie
Williams, the “P-Promise” in the Hawkes Bay, Chris Tremain’s
maiden speech in Parliament, and a Massey University report into
methamphetamine use in New Zealand. “The nature of my effort is to
mitigate harm and to maximize potential, reduce drag, increase sail,
turn criminals to legitimate taxpayers, whatever little shibboleth best
sums up the current call to action. Maybe I’m tired and its
pre-holiday blues. I’ve had this notion of Sisyphus finishing one haul
with his rock up the hill and getting ready for another. On the other
hand, that’s what I do so I need to find satisfaction in my travail.”
With $750m going into building new prisons, a 15% projected increase in
prison populations, an 85% recidivism rate and 61% of all offenders
being Maori, Denis calls time to “whoa!”. There’s got to be a
better way, he says, so in tandem with NYNZer John Wareham, Denis starts
growing a cadre of change agents. He charts a debate with Wellington’s
Darkside and TelecomNZ executives on the subject that “That Pakeha owe
Maori a decent living” - and concludes with a Kevin Tamati story from
the sidelines of Hawkes Bay rugby league.
Denis welcomes his new mokopuna to the world, reflects on the bedrooms
of the nation, looks up Muldoon and reminds us there’s no kiwi without
road trip down south for a special family occasion precipitates a
journey through family memories and New Zealand’s history. Graduation
day, Paddy O'Reilly's
Store, Operation Hurricane, Darksiders,
the communes and the co-op movement, Black Power and Baxter.
The Things that Bind Us
Globalisation has allowed us greater access to cheaper labour,
products and services - this unfortunately includes drugs such as 'P'.
Community and 'social' development have been identified as one way to
counter the effects of an increased domestic trade. Denis heads back to
school, hits the books, and along with the latest research findings,
outlines recent health, education and employment initiatives. And, if you
wanted a history lesson on Rugby League, look no further.
at the Edge
The Tui sings for contemplation, and Denis reviews the peaks
and valleys of the past few months. The importance of attending Tangi, the
passing of a Pontif, a visit from the P-Funk Allstars, Napier's Pilot City
Trust and Policing in an election year. An indepth run down on the
attendees, readings, gang engagement, and uplifting success of March's Heretaunga
symposium “Self, Race, Drugs & Justice in New
Zealand”. A reflective poem of farewell and new beginnings.
Race, Drugs & Justice in New Zealand
Denis and John Wareham (NYNZer who coaches leadership in the world’s
top corporations) team up with Black Power and the Mongrel Mob, the Eagles
Foundation of America and the NZ Sensible Sentencing Trust for a
transformational symposium “Self, Race, Drugs & Justice in New
Zealand” at Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga, Hastings, 4-6 March 2005. Plus a
tour to the frontline of methamphetamine, and to Waitangi 2005.
Working the real stuff... a supported housing community at Waiohiki -
a place that might have a 'P-free whare' status... the Waiohiki Creative
Arts Village... addressing suspicion and distrust... looking for keys to
unlock a system set on assuming the worst... the Eagles Foundation
of USA... the Mokai Whanau Ora project, Aotearoa... "working for
things other than money"... working for a high traction entry
into 2005... [READ
Walsh - The Sinners Tour
14 October 2004
"…At the conclusion of the haka two of the warrior group stepped
forward and placed upon the ground a black guitar case. They opened the
case and fell back into line. The challenger, eyes flashing, gesticulated
to the visitor to pick up the contents. He did so; it was a 12 string
Maton 425 "acoustic electric" guitar. The legendary guitarist
and rock icon Joe Walsh had just accepted the first challenge of the
'Sinners Tour' a project initiated by Mokai Whanau Ora, designed to raise
awareness about methamphetamine use in New Zealand and to bring a message
of hope, in that , with help, recovery is possible."
Kupu Aroha Words of Love
7 September 2004
"Life was cool, busy, and pretty low stress until when, two years
ago, a friend, a Black Power leader, in a bout of methamphetamine induced
psychosis took a knife and gutted himself. His death was a shock, both in
manner and cause. When the news reached me I drove through the night and
arrived at dawn at the gates of his ancestral marae where he lay, in
state. There, beside him I stayed, in the Maori way, with his family and
child and relatives and friends, and gang brothers, for the days of
mourning, speeches and prayers, haka and song, until the time came to
return him to his mother papatuanuku, the earth. And the emotion of these
days fired my desire for action, kia whakarite, the desire to put things