News of New Zealanders via Global Media

Herbs And Freedom Songs For The New Revolution

Herbs And Freedom Songs For The New Revolution

I’ve just returned from a full-on weekend in Auckland. I originally come from Timaru. My father used to say, on learning that I’d been in that city, “Did you call in on your aunt Mary?” Having driven from Timaru to …

Treat Auckland Gun Violence as Contagion, Phil.

Treat Auckland Gun Violence as Contagion, Phil.

Mayor Phil Goff is correct that the dislocation of expelled, Australian-raised, criminally minded, New Zealanders, back to Aotearoa has acted as a violent force majeure on already marginalized communities of the poor, particularly in Auckland. These deportees have brought with …

New Zealander Leads Transformational New York Symposium For Ex-Offenders And ‘At Risk’ Harlem Youth

New Zealander Leads Transformational New York Symposium For Ex-Offenders And ‘At Risk’ Harlem Youth

Recently announced United States Democratic Congressional Contender Richard Habersham enlisted New Zealander John Wareham, who splits his time between New Zealand and New York, to lead an oversubscribed weekend retreat for ex-offenders and ‘at risk’ Harlem youth, at the Harlem …

Review: Marilyn Waring The Political Years

Review: Marilyn Waring The Political Years

Marilyn Waring’s forensic record of her Parliamentary career (Marilyn Waring: The Political Years Bridget Williams Books) is a layered work, a primer in the travails of Aotearoa’s parliamentary democracy. It speaks of values, loyalty, courage, and timing: when to which. …

Salam Alaikum. Patience Required

Salam Alaikum. Patience Required

Salaam Alaikum. Peace be upon us all. Aotearoa is experiencing an extended tangi. Like any such event emotions ebb and flow, sneak up on you, get you when you are not looking. A frightening thought, “that terrible event could have …

That Guy John Wareham

That Guy John Wareham

Some years ago I had a ring from Saatchi & Saatchi chief Kevin Roberts, a man I’ve always found to be inspirational, generous, and unflinchingly courageous. Seems a New York friend of Kevin’s, a guy called John Wareham, had run …

Lean On Me – Nga Kupu Aroha

Lean On Me – Nga Kupu Aroha

I nearly started to sob when Joe Walsh, Tim Schmit, and Vince Gill sang a waiata, acapella, at Hoani Waititi Marae Auckland, in support of the whaikorero from the Eagles’ kaumatua, Martin Cooper, in response to the haka powhiri given …

The Best Place in the World to Be a Child

The Best Place in the World to Be a Child

After the Hāpaitia te Oranga Tangata summit in August, Denis O’Reilly started thinking about how to address the wicked criminal justice problems we face. He turns to the past, and muses on community, from the tranquility of Pā Waiohiki, Ahuriri. Can’t we …

On the Anniversary of the Death of James K Baxter

On the Anniversary of the Death of James K Baxter

Last Sunday a group of around 40 people gathered for breakfast at Lola’s Café in Waipawa to memorialise the death of James K Baxter, Hemi, friend and poet, on 22nd October 1972. One had been with him on the night …

The justice summit — and the road from populism to principle

The justice summit — and the road from populism to principle

Mātua Zac (Anzac Wallace) made the news last week when he voiced his disapproval of the relatively low representation of Māori at the Hāpaitia Te Oranga Tangata criminal justice summit in Wellington. He had a point. The Māori representation at …

He Poroporoaki: Te Rangatira Jack Tuhi

He Poroporoaki: Te Rangatira Jack Tuhi

Born 28-11-1958. Died 1-08-2018 Redemption Song On the second to last Monday of July 2018 my friend and brother Ranga Tuhi rang. “They’ve told me I’ve got 48 hours to live.” He need say no more. I was on my …

Poroporoaki mo Papa Hemi

Poroporoaki mo Papa Hemi

It may have been the disconnection from his biological father that motivated Jim Anderton to champion the tribe of nga mokai, the fatherless ones. Then again it could have been a deep-seated instinct stemming from his Irish DNA, or perhaps …

Reitu Noble Harris, Kahukura

Reitu Noble Harris, Kahukura

My friend and leader Reitu Noble Harris, pensioner, was downed by winter pneumonia. Marshalled by Hine Nui Te Po he passed into the long night late on Sunday 9 July 2017. I was suffering from the same lurgy. Maybe six …

Ōmarunui: Differing Narratives And Different Perspectives

Ōmarunui: Differing Narratives And Different Perspectives

This coming week and especially the day of 12 October brings memories of war to the fore. It is the 99th anniversary of the worst day in our nation’s military history when in 1916 at the Bellvue Spur, Flanders, Belgium …

64 Shots: Leadership in a Crazy World – Review

64 Shots: Leadership in a Crazy World – Review

64 Shots- leadership in a crazy world. Kevin Roberts, Chairman Saatchi & Saatchi. New York: Power House Books. The locus of this new book by Kevin Roberts is the here-and-now of a volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous world. The focus …

Mahi Aroha 4: A Short History of Two Deaths and a Single Killing

Mahi Aroha 4: A Short History of Two Deaths and a Single Killing

Social change activist and longtime NZEDGE columnist Denis O’Reilly weaves a multi-layered tale located on the social edge of Aotearoa. Last week I heard on RNZ a documentary interview with Rastaman Tigilau Ness http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/accessallareas/audio/201798994/tigilau-ness-unity-pacific. His band Unity Pacific is about to …

Mahi Aroha 3: Endurance Required

Mahi Aroha 3: Endurance Required

In Napier there is a certain smug satisfaction at the defeat of the amalgamation proposal. Another local proposal – the Ahuriri Deed of Settlement – that seeks to put right past wrongs – also looks to have stumbled at the …

Mahi Aroha 2: First, Revive the Spirit

Mahi Aroha 2: First, Revive the Spirit

In the week preceding the 2014 General Election I gave a speech to the AGM of the Council of Social Services in Christchurch. Whenever I’m in Christchurch I feel the spirit of my late brother Laurie O’Reilly, who died in …

He Mahi Aroha 1: WFFW – Whanau Forever, Forever Whanau

He Mahi Aroha 1: WFFW – Whanau Forever, Forever Whanau

Hello. Its been a while. My heart is full. I’m in the mood to write. In recent times Taape and I have been trying as much as is possible to live out at Ocean Beach, in the old lady Hariata …

Nga Kupu Aroha Epilogue

Nga Kupu Aroha Epilogue

Once you put something out there you just don’t know who will pick it up and where it will go. Since its birth in 2004 Nga Kupu Aroha has grown into a well respected and much enjoyed commentary on the …

Blessed Love

Blessed Love

Nga Kupu Aroha recorded a journey. It may well have been a saga. The quest started around 2003 with the self-realisation that taking meth wasn’t a very good idea. When my friend Hone Day went sideways the impact of his …

Once Was Gangman Styles

Once Was Gangman Styles

As I approach my 60th year (next month) I’m increasingly reflecting on times past and what the hell I intend to do with the time left that the Good Lord has allocated to me. My brother Laurie died as the …

To Understand What Is

To Understand What Is

Kia ora. This is my 50th posting of Nga Kupu Aroha and my first for 2012. Since commencing the blog in 2004 I’ve provided something like quarter of a million words, intended as expressions of love from Aotearoa’s social edge. …

Deck the Halls

Deck the Halls

On Election Day I worked at the Waiohiki Arts Village with my nephew Lawrence Kingi-Miki, Nathan Rose, Gerard Gunn, and Tipu Tareha. We were digging out pathways in preparation for a new layout to improve access for disabled people visiting …

Circenses nil Panem

Circenses nil Panem

If you believe that rugby is played in heaven then New Zealand is currently Paradise: a football fanzone in Godzone. But for the last twenty minutes of the Rugby World Cup Final it was potentially hell. New Zealanders sat at …

Knight, Might & Right

Knight, Might & Right

It was Saturday morning. My usual weekday routine is to get up around 6.00am and go for a swim. Saturdays are for sleeping in and a slow start, with the weekender editions of the Dom Post, NZ Herald and Hawke’s …

Kia Pakeke Ahau

Kia Pakeke Ahau

It has been a quarter of a year since I wrote to you last. Arohamai. It’s a sign though that I’m otherwise flat out. This is a short but significant posting. I want to salute three pou, men who have …

Crouch, Touch, Pause, Engage

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

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.

Poisonous Fuming

Poisonous Fuming

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

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 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

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.

Pharaoh’s Rod

Pharaoh’s Rod

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.

Chip Away

Chip Away

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.

Practice of Love

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!

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

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 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. (3,657 words)

Stepping Back from the Precipice

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. (1,830 words)

Dangerous Utopias

Dangerous Utopias

"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". (4,108 words)

Reggae’s Doing Fine

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. (7,151 words)

Briefing to Incoming Ministers

Briefing to 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 Nga Mokai.

Jesus Mary and Joseph!

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 at Waiohiki. (3,230 words)

Tama Heihei Kaki Maro

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

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”.

Jurassic Roar

Jurassic Roar

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.

Low Blow

Low Blow

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

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

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.

Easter Edge

Easter Edge

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.

The Cycle of Life

The 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.

May Peace Prevail

May Peace Prevail

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

“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 mountain, Maungapohatu... (2,577 words)

How to Break Out

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

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.