Tuesday 7 August 2012

A different perspective

Many of you probably already read Morgan Godfrey's blog Maui St so you've probably seen this but just in case here is a post that got my interest.

In the past I've made it pretty clear in the past that I quite like Morgan's blog. He is young and keen, sometimes a little over-zealous but usually focussed and insightful. The young student has been blogging for awhile and has had the foresight to engage another two writers to spread the sound of the voice.

Back in June Morgan added former MP Kelvin Davis and former Green Party candidate Jack Tautokai McDonald as contributors to the blog.

At the end of last week Kelvin published this post containing his opinion about who had been the best and the worst Maori MP. A couple of notable additions and a brief discussion on what makes someone Maori, the post was insightful and well-written, so check it out.

I particularly liked his summation of Shane Jones.

"Shane Jones has had a Bill drawn from the ballot "Ombudsmen (Cost Recovery) Amendment Bill," buggered if I know what that's about, but I have every faith in Shane's ability to turn the most tedious of kaupapa into an epic yarn worthy of a Pulitzer."

Thursday 2 August 2012

Praise where praise is due

Ok, so if you haven’t guessed I’m not the sort of blogger who can produce a post every day or even every couple of days. I’ve tried but finding time and space or even the inclination is sometimes a little tougher than I thought it would be but boy have there been some interesting issues concerning Maori in the media over the past couple of weeks.

Well really it is just one issue that has been constantly evolving. It is the thing that everyone is talking about, I’m sure, and every major media outlet has produced at least one story about the water rights issue since it was announced that the Maori Council had requested an urgent hearing with the Waitangi Tribunal. It is, to borrow the words from a cousin, the hot topic of this time.

However I have already discussed this issue on this blog and, as I’ve already said, the story is constantly moving forward so I wanted to dedicate this post to another subject.

So I came across this story reading through my google alerts and I couldn’t help but think wow.

The story is about a $1million fund set up by the Primary Industries ministry that will be used in co-investment in projects by Maori. The story got me to thinking about something that an old man once said to me.

Somewhere in my travels I was told that Maori land, which is collectively owned by a Maori grouping, makes up only 5 per cent of the country but that at least 95 per cent of that land is underutilised. Bear in mind that I have not researched this information but simply quoting something that the old man said to me, but even so that seems like heck of a lot of waste.

I know much of this land will not be prime farming acres but the prospect that there could be $1 million out there for people to use to get this resource producing something, anything sounds amazing.

However, and I know this sounds cynical, I’m almost sitting here waiting for some media outlet to pick up this story and try the (non-Maori) outrage angle.

I can just see another Louis Crimp or Phil Foster being trotted out to criticise the fund as unfair towards non-Maori.

But here’s the thing Radio New Zealand, because of its focus and nature, simply just state the facts. Very rarely is opinion allowed within the online snaps and I really enjoy this in a world of sensationalism and biased reporting.

Radio New Zealand is often the source which has the most diverse Maori news and it should be commended for its work. I’m not a big radio listener preferring to listen to my own music most of the time but I am glad that I am able to get updates online. I only wish that their online presence was a little bit smoother so that I could feel as though there was a human behind the updates.