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.
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 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.
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.