Edge Message #87 from Brian Sweeney, producer NZEDGE.COM
Aotearoa whanau whanui ki te Aonui Global Community of New Zealanders From Brian Sweeney, producer www.nzedge.com
Greetings. Update from the semi-regular https://www.nzedge.com/news/. There is a nifty widget called NeoCounter that tells you where your traffic is coming from; recently we have welcomed readers from some of the world’s metropoli and digerativilles – New York, London, Berlin, Paris, Sydney, Seoul, Seattle, Santiago, Antwerp, New Dehli, Dubai, Tehran and Zurich, as well as edgier places such as Tokomaru, Wiri, Waikanae, Levin and Te Kauwhata in NZ and Cheyenne (Wyoming), Rosmalen (Netherlands), Tenhult (Sweden), Harrison’s Pocket and Elimba (Queensland), Mountain View (California), Tampa (Florida) and Chandigarh (India). It’s great being global.
Have been confronting the dichotomy between global achievement and a fairly murderous (literally) local climate. There has been extensive media commentary about the parlous state of New Zealand’s behaviour and values. A tangential but compelling commentary can be found on the NZ Herald‘s always-excellent reader forum specifically addressing the question “Do you think New Zealand is boring?” It’s a great question; at last count there were 200 intelligent comments mostly of the view that it is. I can give both “absolutely” and “absolutely not” answers to this question (but fundamentally, life is what you make of it). Overall the country feels like it is in drift mode; awash with the scent of violence; politically fragmented; overly-contented; and little sense of urgency (one export leader commented to a meeting last week that complacency in NZ was leading us to become “Tasmania on Prozac”).
With a reported one in eleven Cantabrians on heavy-duty anti-depressants, we might be truly over the edge. In counselling on happiness, philosopher Daniel Dennett advises to “find something bigger than yourself, then devote your life to it.” New Zealand needs this firmly articulated sense of purpose (our version is “winning the world from the edge”). My belief is that this would deal to the atrophy that afflicts public life here “on-island”. It’s not enough to simply get behind the ABs. The nation operating with purpose and focus as a “One Team One Dream” unit would propel us forward. I’m a resident optimist, and I hope this issue #87 of nzedge.com puts a step in your day. Cheers.
GLOBAL HEADLINES: New Zealanders featuring in our survey of global media including the BBC, The Times, New York Times, LA Times, The Guardian, International Herald Tribune, Forbes, BusinessWeek, The Independent, The Telegraph, Toronto Star, Sydney Morning Herald, Melbourne Age, Boston Globe, The New Yorker, National Public Radio, The Lancet, USA Today, ESPN, Taipei Times, Wine Spectator, The Scotsman, Planet Rugby, Seed, Dwell, Marie Claire and New York magazines. /category/newzedge/
|actor Anna Paquin||animator Nick Craven|
|Sand Dancer Peter Donnelly||architect Mark Wigley|
|triathlete Andrea Hewitt||rapper Maitreya|
|gene therapist Matthew During||comedian Ben Hurley|
racer Scott Dixon
|designer Jeff Docherty|
|glass artist Luke Jacomb||osteopath Garry Trainer|
|Crowded House||singer Steve Edwards|
|honoree Marianne Whittington|
|caddie Steve Williams||Vista entertainment software|
|Le Mans artist Mark Olsen||Ag Research emissions project|
|Napier Deco architecture|
|artist Lisa Fergusson||Manuka Honey healing
|Corporal Willy Apiata VC||New Zealand Exchange|
|Waiheke Island’s Stonyridge|
|winger Jonah Lomu||Abel Tasman National Park|
|All Black Graham Mourie||discoveries from Auckland,|
|Canterbury and Otago|
|architect David Howell||Universities|
|tennis’ Marina Erakovic||Excitement of Team New
activist Alyn Ware
|Bledisloe Cup victors All Blacks|
|software engineer Ben Goodger||plus New Zealand film-makers,|
|director Jonathan King||wine-makers, rowers, advertising|
|chef Govind Armstrong||agencies, dairy scientists;|
|neuroscientist Kerry Spackman||nanotechnology investment;|
|RIP recently in England:|
|triathlete Bevan Doherty||character actor Gordon Gostelow|
|software architect Nigel Keam||Anne Gilman: “rebel from NZ”|
|Leslie Woods: fighter pilot,|
|jewelers Mitchell & Elsbury||mathematician, physicist and|
|Flight of the Conchords||“strikingly individual New|
|director Taika Waititi||Zealander”|
|UK civil servant Ian Fletcher||
BLOG #17 of DENIS O’REILLY’S SERIES NGA KUPU AROHA, from the flipside of the edge; “Looking through a kaleidoscope” (4,750 words): The context: “This 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.”
• The role of tangi in the change management of Maori society;
• The Reflexive Universe and the seven stages of evolution;
• Edge-dwelling, alt thinking and the brink of disobedience;
• The visit by 60s black American radical Angela Davis with an agenda for decarceration and restorative justice; her influence on Auckland’s Polynesian Panthers;
• Definitions and double-standards of “organised crime” in NZ;
• Discontinuity of the 1980s economic reforms resulting in a 3:1 Maori/Pakeha unemployment rate;
• Moral panic and the perspicaciousness of policy makers in regard to the criminal justice system;
• “Can we reverse the trend and steer those people who are caught up in crime back to legitimate pursuits?”
• A good reason to get upset – the grand denial of potential;
• Imprisonment becoming the standard expectation of our underclass; Law & Order Select Committee;
• “Could we agree on having a decarcerated nation within which the indigenous people are proportionally the least imprisoned population segment?”;
• New York Times editorial “The Wrong Approach to Gangs”; • Prayerful and profound intervention of a tohunga;
• At Maatariki planted shallots, garlic, onions and chives, and digging in mustard to enrich the soil for Maori spuds;
• The daily work of difficult engagements dissuading people from one path and persuading them to take another.
BUILDING BETTER PEOPLE:
KEVIN ROBERTS’ Rugby Postcard
Professional rugby has seen players with nothing to do except play rugby – a pretty boring way to spend your life. The result was mental stimulation and personal growth at a minimum and underdeveloped personalities ill-equipped to cope with public expectations and pressure. Men expected to become leaders because they wear the black jersey, but are incapable of boiling an egg for themselves.
Graham Henry began a process of change that has opened up the All Blacks to a belief that “better people make better All Blacks”. His focus was on good balanced lifestyles that included interests away from rugby and learning every day. Simultaneously, the management team made a concerted effort to stamp out the drinking culture that was endemic to the team. The All Blacks are thriving under the new system. The players operate leadership groups that are empowered to construct their own parameters, their own culture, their own ethics and their own discipline systems.
ARTHUR LYDIARD was born 90 years ago on July 6. He invented jogging, the simple method of running at a long slow distance to build up physical fitness, strength and endurance. Millions of men and women worldwide run as part of their everyday regime. Arthur Lydiard trained New Zealand’s greatest track athletes, and helped propel New Zealand to the top of world middle-distance running. On a hot September day in Rome in 1960, within the space of one hour, Peter Snell took Gold in the 800 metres and Murray Halberg won Gold in the 5000 metres – arguably New Zealand’s finest sporting moment. Lydiard became the world’s most respected athletics coach. His methods were new, original and unorthodox – and had run straight into the prevailing wall of suffocating officialdom. When you come from the edge, you experience being ignored, ostracized and embattled, until, maybe, the grit and genius of your idea busts through. Arthur Lydiard achieved this transformational moment.
NZEDGE.COM IS COMMENCING A SERIES OF ‘TOP 10s’ from New Zealanders who will offer their ideas, forecasts, strategies and projections for New Zealand 2007-2010 and beyond. Initiating the series is John Williams, former owner of the Marton company PEC (New Zealand) Ltd, which was internationally respected for its world-first design of microprocessor-based petrol pumps and service station POS terminals. His Top 10 Strategies for NZ:
1. Maximise growth of our world-class products.
2. Ensure that 25,000 New Zealanders (net) return annually.
3. Increase exports via awareness and promotion.
4. Introduce the “Kiwi Can” programme to all schools.
5. Re-create the University of New Zealand.
6. Market New Zealand as “Innovative New Zealand”.
7. Ensure that the contribution to economic growth from the Maori and Pacific Island ethnic groups is significantly and continuously increased.
8. Demonstrate the innovation of New Zealanders via the web.
9. Establish a “Centre of Excellence” for Entrepreneurship.
10. Create and widely publicise a “Vision” for New Zealand: “To ensure New Zealand’s future as one of the world’s most socially cohesive, prosperous, and innovative countries, which is sustained by a dynamic, wealth creating, export economy.”
NEW ZEALAND UNLEASHED: the country, its future and the people who will get it there by McKinsey’s Steven Carden is a geo-bio-histo-psycho thriller about the emergence of New Zealand in a pan-global sweep through nature and technology. Rooted in the biological science of complex adaptive systems, Unleashed fronts a sped-up world and how we need to face change.
Carden places New Zealand at the ‘edge of chaos’; “a term coined by the physicist Norman Packard to describe a state of untidy creativity, between rigidity and chaos. In this zone, the system is best able to function, adjusting constantly to a turbulent world, but without traumatic upheaval. [The edge of chaos is] where productive agitation runs high, innovation thrives and breakthroughs occur. It’s the place this book argues New Zealand should be. A dynamic, innovative, creative society that is comfortable changing.”
Unleashed puts intellectual moxie into our perspectives about who we are, and what we are capable of achieving. It points us to a better place that has us fully engaged with global change.
PICTURES published this month include South Wairarapa, South Canterbury, Raumati South, Christchurch, Arizona and New York City. Gallery