Eastern Courier : November 12th 2010
7 EASTERN COURIER, NOVEMBER 12, 2010 NEWS In person ” 1,500+ places across NZ ” BNZ stores ” PostShops At the start of last week, your water and wastewater account transferred to Watercare0Yhen you recekxe your Þrst dkll, you can select a payment method that suits you. Now running water for Auckland... By post ” Cheque Electronic ” Internet banking ” Telephone banking ” Credit card payment on our website If you have an existing direct debit, recurring credit card authority or automatic payment set up, we have made the change hassle free. Your payment will be directed to Watercare automatically. Contact us Customer Services: (09) 442 2222, 7.30am to 6pm, Monday to Friday Faults: (09) 442 2222, 24 hours Visit: www.watercare.co.nz Automatic ” Automatic payment ” Direct debit 3181288AC Hi! My name is Nomad and I live at Cockle Bay Kindergarten. I would like to invite all past and present pupils to a B.Y.O Picnic at Cockle Bay Beach tomorrow on Saturday 13th from Midday onwards. Mrs Imm also asked me to mention that we have spaces available at our morning sessions. Please phone 534 7083 for all enquiries. Saveway Highland Park - The Best Quality for Your Choice! • Fruits • Veges • Meats • Seafoods • Groceries Ph: (09) 534 5050 Fax: (09) 534 5051 10/491 Pakuranga Rd, Highland Park, Auckland Open 7 Days a week 8.30am - 6.00pm Highland Park No.1 NZ Orange $2.99/kg Trevally $4.99/kg Size 6 Eggs (30's) $3.99/tray Large Telegraph Cucumber $1.99/ea SAVEWAY HIGHLAND PARK STORE - 12/11 till 14/11 (Friday - Sunday) Weekend Promotional or whilestockslast Beef Blade Steak $8.99/kg Frooti FreshNJuicy Mango Drinks (1.2Ltr) $2.49/btl Nobu Seasoned Edamame (400g) $2.99/pkt Green Seedless Grapes $4.99/kg Large Broccoli $1.29/ea Hoki Fillet $8.99/kg Large Round Eggplant 99¢/ea Beef Diced Brisket $6.49/kg Opposite Event Cinema 3080875AK When men's rights are wrong It's all a matter of cus- tomary rights. That's the wayIseeit--andI've had some experience as you'll see. No, I'm not talking about the water's edge rule or whatever they're calling the latest attempt to please everyone while apparently pleasing no one -- particularly Hone Harawira. My topic is actually the way the Brown Auck- land administration is redrafting my set of cus- tomary rights. Having Maori elders sit Penny Hulse, the new deputy mayor, in the sec- ond row because of some sort of ancient, tribal dominant sex ruling is a strong case in point. I'm still not at all reconciled to quavering and some times flattish versions of that old Pakeha hymn How Great Thou Art being sung at the drop of a mere to open just about any pub- lic occasion with Pakeha sometimes hongi-ing each other to follow. Actually, I thought the passing of Sir Howard Morrison, the great exponent of it, might give us a relief from the How great'' treatment. (I still treasure the gag that he used to practise it before a mirror and while shaving. Which sounds like the sort of comment only the truly great Billy T James could get away with.) Although I've got to say that anything, including the Goons, would have been better than the range of multicultural renditions (in the sense of tearing apart) of other tunes swearing-in and maiden speech marathons. What I'm sick of is the apparent customary indigenous right to turn every state, local or even family local occasion into a tribal hongi, and some- times haka, occasion. And this is not a new feeling. There was the grand opening of AUT's three- year communications degree course years ago -- last century actually. The North Shore hall was turned into a notional marae for one of those long welcoming powhiri. Trouble: Tribal advocates ruled that they set the rules and since the one-time resi- dent tribe in the area had a No women speak- ing'' ban on marae that had to apply at our place too. The politically correct staff of that time, feminists and all, just conceded. That's the way it was. Then another major equal rights issue loomed. The deputy head of the communications department was a woman and that appar- ent protocol handicap meant she couldn't speak in our own hall as had been planned. She was welcome to join in the odd verse of How Great, etc'' -- but nothing more. No nothing. Ancient protocols wouldn't allow it.As a lecturer on the journalism course I was affronted. I don't know whether Phil Goff was so con- cerned. He was, shall we say, resting'' from Parlia- ment and on the teach- ing staff there too. Anyway, after a cer- tain amount of argy- bargy, a temporary post- colonial option was taken up. All the males who wished could say their piece. Then the marae powhiri event would be ruled to be over, the hall would instantaneously and miraculously revert to its real mundane, per- manent role and all protocols would lapse. Madam could speak. At the next board of studies meeting, I expressed real regret about that slight to her and that there had not been one line of trans- lation in the whole 45-minute Maori language performance -- and I used that word deliberately. I argued that if we wanted or were pressed into turning our hall into a marae then we should have the right to set the protocols. I pressed what I thought was a relevant point -- that the vast majority of the 50 or so students beginning a course in communi- cations had spent much of the first hour of their three-year course not understanding any of the portentous oratory. Total non-communication. Could we please have a balance of translations next time? The following month, the minutes of that board meeting reported crisply and with feeling that Mr Booth criticised the use of Maori at the induction''. That precis showed me that more than the students needed teach- ing the real meaning of words. Then there was a powhiri (not in Auck- land) to welcome a new health board into their own meeting room -- which seemed to me rather strange. It too had been elevated to become a marae for a few hours it seemed. We were marshalled in the corridor and then summoned in the tra- ditional wailing way. With a slight but signifi- cant traffic jam. I stood back to let the chairperson lead us in. She wouldn't lead us through and hung back which was most unlike her. It was, she said, Maori custom that men walked in first. So apparently some- one who was govern- ment-appointed with six years' service was expected to give way to a newly elected novice member solely because he was a male and she was a woman. That's the custom, bro. I made it clear that the custom in my community was that men stood back for women. Irresistible force meets immoveable object. We sidled in abreast, so to speak. Protocols were intact, that was the main thing. Ahead lay years when the karakia opened every monthly meeting. Usually untranslated, of course. And always the Maori chairwoman asked one of the couple of Maori members of the nine of us to provide it. That was until the meeting when I asked if I could exercise my cus- tomary rights and say a prayer of my own instead. The odd gasp. I prayed for guidance -- and an acceptance of other people's differences -- and we then settled to coping with the penance of helping run the hell which is the state of health finances. But I was never asked to repeat the Pakeha karakia. Which is what I hope happens to out-of-date tribal protocols which turn city halls into make-believe marae and park the newly app- ointed deputy mayor into seats behind the men. At the same time I suggest that newly revealed tendency for the newly elected to sing, and even dash off their own social comment lyrics, should be covered by a permanent tapu. Along with make- believe marae. All of which leads me to repeat an old joke -- that in countries like Afghanistan, Iraq and the like, men have given up the centuries-old cus- tom of them striding ahead of their wives who dutifully trailed behind. Now women are walk- ing in front. The reason: Land- mines.
November 10th 2010
November 17th 2010