Tuesday 21 April 2020

NZ Military Getting Ready To Aid The Civil Power.

Black Helicopters! Just because armed idiot misogynists hellbent on overturning the Covid-19 rules are feeling ever-so-slightly paranoid, doesn't mean the NZDF isn't out to get them!

IT WAS EASY to miss amidst the information overload of Lockdown at Level 4. A curiously thin news story, published by Stuff on 15 April, concerning “a routine military exercise” in South Auckland. The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) was keen to reassure people living in the area that the sound of gunfire, loud explosions and helicopters flying overhead were nothing to be concerned about. But, as is so often the case with NZDF media releases, that wasn’t the whole story – not by a long (and potentially deadly) shot.

Any government facing a crisis on the scale of the Covid-19 Pandemic will, at a pretty early stage in the proceedings, be briefed by their senior law enforcement and military advisers on how best to respond to a serious outbreak of civil disorder. For the likes of Jacinda Ardern and Grant Robertson this was likely to have been a sobering – and scary – experience.

The number of sworn police officers in New Zealand currently stands at around 10,000. The NZDF musters roughly the same number, 10,000, with a further 2,000 men and women in reserve. In other words, in a nation of just under 5 million, the state can call upon just 22,000 trained personnel to enforce its will. That’s one trained enforcer for every 227 citizens.

Obviously, the state’s best option, when faced with a serious outbreak of civil disorder, is to concentrate as many of its enforcers as possible at the scene. Equally obviously, those enforcers need to be trained and equipped to quell such disorder swiftly and decisively. To achieve this objective with a minimum of violence and injury, the first responders should ideally be police officers trained in crowd control – i.e. a “riot squad”.

This was the preferred option for maintaining law and order during the Springbok Tour protests of 1981, and it was highly successful. Only outside Eden Park on the final day of the Tour did the Police contemplate calling upon the military to aid the civil power. Armed naval personnel were mustered in readiness, but fortunately their services were not required. The “thin blue line” held.

Of course the overwhelming majority of anti-Apartheid protesters were law-abiding members of the New Zealand middle-class, and the main co-ordinating body of the anti-tour movement, the Halt All Racist Tours organisation (HART) was officially committed to non-violent civil-disobedience. That being the case, the highly-trained “Red” and “Blue” riot squads, equipped with visored helmets, metal shields and long batons, were more than equal to the task of making sure the games went ahead. They were bested by the protesters only once – at Hamilton’s Rugby Park.

Serious civil disorder arising out of the prolonged imposition of the lockdown rules is, however, unlikely to be undertaken by idealistic protesters committed to non-violent action. One has only to take in the images now flooding out of the United States, of loud and aggressive Trump supporters openly flouting the social-distancing rules imposed by state governors and legislatures. At present, most (but not all) of these protesters are unarmed. Should that change, however, the potential for a calamitous  eruption of violence is all too real.

Now, New Zealanders are not Americans: as a people we are about “fairness” much more than we are about “liberty”. But, as the reaction to the Government’s attempts to institute a more rational system of controlling the possession and use of firearms has made clear, there is a vocal minority of New Zealanders who appear to have absorbed completely the “gun culture” of the United States and clearly intend to replicate it their own country. Socio-economically, these folk tend to be found running New Zealand’s small businesses and farms. Most of them are men, and an alarming number of them seem to have enormous difficulty coming to terms with the fact that New Zealand is led by a young, progressive, mother of one.

When that same young woman is telling these guys that they have to stay at home; that their small businesses must remain shut; and that they are not permitted to go hunting with their precious firearms; then there has to be a reasonable chance that at least some of them are going to take a leaf out of the play-book of Trump’s supporters in Michigan and Wisconsin and demand that the economy be “liberated” from the Lockdown. How big a step is it, after all, from the infamous placard declaring Jacinda to be “a pretty communist” and the one carried high by a Trump supporter proclaiming “Social Distancing = Communism”?

Whenever they're confronted with courage and/or complexity, the idiot right call it communism.

All these angry white men, itching to lock and load their guns and hit the streets in protest should, however, pause and think again about those military exercises in South Auckland. Because it’s a pretty safe bet that what’s being trained there in secret is a ready-reaction force. In the worst case scenario, when Police intervention has failed to persuade destructive, violent and armed protesters to disperse, then this is the military unit that will be called upon to aid the civil power.

Idiot armed misogynists determined to overturn the nation’s efforts to eliminate the Covid-19 virus will need to learn that the arrival of this force is a very bad sign indeed. Its only purpose is to disperse armed and violent offenders swiftly and decisively – if necessary by the use of deadly force. Harsh? Certainly. But the rest of New Zealand will cheer them on. Why? Because Kiwis will not tolerate a bunch of violent, armed and self-entitled right-wing thugs putting them and their loved ones at risk. Moreover, unlike the President of the USA, New Zealand’s prime minister has absolutely no interest in encouraging them do so.

This essay was originally posted on The Daily Blog of Tuesday, 21 April 2020.


Wayne Mapp said...

As I am sure you are aware the April 15 exercise will be SAS training, given that there base is in Papakura. It will be the same kind of training they have undertaken for many decades.

However I appreciate your article was not really about that. I am not sure I agree with you that New Zealanders value "fairness' way above "liberty". Obviously we are not like many in America with their ultra libertarian views. We are also a small and cohesive society. I would say we put equal stress on the two values. Yes, we are more community minded than many in America, but even there the lockdown is by and large being observed.

In New Zealand we are getting toward the limit. Quite clearly, going by the last few days in North Shore, a lot more people are out and about. There has been quite a lot more traffic. Many cars have 4 or so people in them

While I think extending lockdown 4 for a few days is the right decision, it is not something that can be sustained, not when New Zealanders can see the virus is being defeated, and not when they have the example of Australia.

Overall I think the govt is doing a very good job, and has taken the people with them. The PM's exceptional communications skills have helped in that regard. But there are limits, and the govt will be well aware of that. And no, that is not a reference to the role of the SAS. It is simply a statement that if lockdown 4 was extended too long it would simply breakdown, and the govt would simply have to accept that.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

"an alarming number of them s̶e̶e̶m̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶h̶a̶v̶e̶ ̶e̶n̶o̶r̶m̶o̶u̶s̶ ̶d̶i̶f̶f̶i̶c̶u̶l̶t̶y̶ ̶c̶o̶m̶i̶n̶g̶ have not and will never come to terms with the fact that New Zealand is led by a young, progressive, mother of one."


Guerilla Surgeon said...

Some of the rules some of the rules seem a bit stupid. I have a friend whose wife had a stroke which some of you might know about, and now his daughters had some sort of brain aneurysm or whatever they call it. He lives about 50 km away – he can't get out to exercise, and I've offered him the use of an old rowing machine and I have offered him the use of an old rowing machine. But I can't take it up to him because he is 50 km away. Because apparently that would be stretching my bubble too far or something. If I could find a mutual friend about halfway apparently that would be fine, even though that would expose more people than me dropping it in his front garden and leaving. And I was pretty annoyed at this but then I thought the law has to be strict because according to GS's first rule of life, in any large enough group there are bound to be a number of eejits - who would bend or break them if there was any leeway, (although I must confess that since this pandemic began I have revised downwards considerably my opinion of the proportion). So I will wait until we are at level II before I take the damn thing up. I've been out and about on my bike in the last few weeks and I've noticed that 99% of the people out there are extremely sensible and polite. Although of course I do live in the suburbs and not too many of them are country people or gun fanatics. So if I were to make a prediction and risk looking stupid I would say that we are not going to get too much by way of rebelliousness - at present at least. :)

Trev1 said...

Sorry Chris but this is nutty (paranoid?) fantasy. Creating imaginary foes during a period of anxiety about a pandemic is unhelpful to say the least.

petes new write said...

They are there as a backup if the police cant handle things. They would protect state assets. The difference is that Muldoon isn't around.

Anonymous said...

Any incitement to revolt is likely to come from chickenhawks like Mike Hosking - someone who'd run a mile at the prospect of getting real blood on his fashionably ripped jeans. And I do hold out the hope that fewer and fewer people are listening to him. He has counterparts - in the glowering hostility of Mark Richardson every time the PM appears to talk to the illogical, inconsistent and all over the place Duncan Garner. They are there, commercial media gives them an absurd amount or air time and completely undeserved platforms because they will parrot the anti-Labour anti-left agenda required by their commercial paymasters - but not many people will take any notice.

John said...

Jesus, you're clutching at straws there mate. That lot couldn't organise a wet weekend, never mind an armed insurrection.

Nick J said...

Does anybody really believe that the sheeple will revolt, or even display minor civil disobedience?

The ballot box is a more likely form of revolt for Kiwis which is why if unemployment goes into the 20%s we could see extreme voter reaction.

John Hurley said...

In his presentation ‘Performing rage’: undermining diversity recognition in Aotearoa by defending free speech, hate speech and bigotry, Distinguished Professor Paul Spoonley addresses what he describes as “a populist rage at diversity” – or “performing rage” – enabled by online platforms and forums. This has resulted in “the internationalisation of populism and extremism and the possibilities provided by online platforms, at the cost of diversity recognition,”

The Road to Hell is Paved with Good Intention.

I think the sickness in society started when we declared society should be "inclusive". The Burke Review of Immigration 1987 mandated diversity. We are as a species (as are most species) ethnocentric and discriminatory and for good resaon as ethnocentrism out performs altruism as an evolutionary strategy. When the HRC was set up "inclusiveness” became institutionalised eg they pointed the finger at discriminatory employers (who would have been making judgements from a social perspective). The government provide the push; fed by overpopulation in the Pacific Islands.

Nasty as that sounds being discriminatory is a part of life: we choose the best partner not the "most vulnerable" (flatmate hunting is a good example). In excluding we strengthen who is "us" as we need to function as an army (so to speak). That's why they don't like nationalism but that is only when it is (for some reason) taken to excess. You can train to be a kickboxer but it doesn't mean you will invade Poland with it. Ranginui Walker pointed out that NZ's population and rate of reproduction had hit a sweet spot. Now (according to Spoonley) we just aren't growing enough.

The cost of not filtering (digesting/ assimilating) newcomers is that whereas before we had division that (today) is multiplied many times over. As a result an (alleged) goodness rules over us. When goodness fails (incompetence) strength and vested (or ethnic) interest takes over. Notice how we cannot react to limits. Migrants must keep coming and we must not exclude those from this 1.2 billion or that 1.2 billion

It is about balance. it is about policies the man in the Clapham omnibus is comfortable with not these people:

David George said...

Perhaps the military could get some practice in sorting out these so called vigilantes. My daughter, alone in the car, was subject to an intimidating grilling by a large, aggressive, masked, patched gang member on the state highway coming into town. He demanded personal information (name and address), what was she doing etc. She was very upset. Her husband and her father are furious and the police no help whatsoever. This is an open invitation for folk to start taking the law into their hands. Stop it now!

For all that I can't see Kiwis getting up and protesting as they have in other parts of the world - not just the USA BTW.

It really would help if we weren't being treated like children, were properly informed and genuine discussion wasn't being casually dismissed.

Michael Riddell:

"the government and its agencies have revealed only what suits them, when it suits them, exposes itself to little serious scrutiny, and treats the public like children, or subjects, not citizens (I gave up reading the full page propaganda in each day’s newspaper after one particular piece of official condescension – implying, as I recall, that I was doing the government a favour by looking after my children – got too much for me)."

"It isn’t really clear what the government thinks it has to gain by the secrecy. Perhaps things really are worse than even sceptics assume. Perhaps the Prime Minister is allowing herself to be led by the nose by officials who are routinely averse to scrutiny and transparency, and really do think the public – citizens, voters – really are just best kept in the dark, treated as children – while the adults sort things out. Whatever the explanation, there is no adequate justification. And responsibility for the failure – the secrecy, the obstruction – rests totally with the Prime Minister. If she wanted an open and transparent government – amid a wrenching crisis with no real precedent – she could have it tomorrow. By her (in)actions, she reveals her preferences."


David Stone said...

Rather than small business owners and farmers I think the much more likely source of trouble looming is from the roadblocks erected by a different demographic in our society. We are supposed to be on lockdown and the only legitimate policing of that must be by the police and then maybe by the army if necessary. But the most noticeable people flouting that law, if it is covered by law which under emergency I imagine it is, are some self styled highwaymen doing their own policing, some apparently wearing their patches.
The vast majority of people are buying into the reasoning for the lockdown, but having some set themselves up to defy it in order to see that others don't , and scaring the daylights out of some people going about their lawful business is showing a disdain for the law. Even if the travellers are out of order in their errand, it is not for other members of the community to police them. Breaking the relevant regulations themselves to be in a position to do so.
It is placing the police and the PM in an invidious position. Who would like to guess whether it is the police or the government that is making the call that Jacinda made today in answering a question about her stance on this matter? Perhaps it's both in agreement. But the clear acceptance that there are laws for some sections of society that do not apply to others is a recipe for general anarchy and wholesale disregard for the law. Including both the lawmakers and the law enforcers.
It has dealt a dreadful blow to Jacinda's performance, but it was always going to be the most difficult kind of issue for her to navigate. The last thing she would want is to be at odds with Maori. But if her government allows a blatant bifurcation of the law along racial lines it is the one thing that could destroy her leadership and cost Maori the most sympathetic national leadership they have ever had.
I would be pretty sure that the police and the government have not acted because they are hoping to avoid starting just the kind of standoff you are talking about Chris.


Geoff Fischer said...

Kia ora Chris
While there is a place for electronic contact tracing, I hope that Jacinda's supporters can let her know that the public are not impressed by GCSB's attempts to coerce the Ministry of Health into using Citizen Thiel's Palantir system to conduct public health surveillance during the Covid-19 epidemic.
The government's on-going relationship with Thiel, Palantir and the Five Eyes brings it into continuous disrepute.
Palantir is an evil that we can do without, and if the government fails to alter course it will be buying a fight not just with "armed idiot misogynists" but with all those who believe in an open society, the rule of law and the dignity of the people.
Jacinda has to get the message that there must be no overlap between political surveillance and public health measures.
The left thinks that a police state over which it happens to officiate will somehow be more acceptable to "Kiwis" than the other kind of police state, and that the only opposition will come from "a bunch of violent, armed and self-entitled right-wing thugs" whose very existence is hardly in evidence.
In fact the "self-entitled thugs" are the likes of Peter Thiel and Andrew Hampton who are at the seat of power in Wellington, and not those living in the streets of South Auckland or the backblocks of Tai Tokerau.

greywarbler said...

We constantly as a people behave like children with Mummy and Daddy looking after everything so we don't have to take personal responsibility to be informed and be prepared for life's difficulties. You are talking tripe that the problem is of being properly informed with genuine discussion going on.

The right wing are not interested in the issues for the whole of the country and have continually voted for their team as if elections were a simple sporting contest. The left have allowed too many overseas players to be bought to help boost the results, instead of backing local clubs and young players to achieve their best. NZ middle class who have reached 'comfortable with reasonably or well-paid jobs' are concentrating turning their lives and properties into something similar to what was seen on television in The Truman Show.

And true man and woman when they actually know and talk about the reality - are swept to the side as inconvenient with a "Who do you think you are" and "Not true". Any discussion is held with those two points to the fore, even if they are unseen standing silently at the back like henchmen with bulging muscular arms. (Interesting news that a prime agent in the selling of steroids in NZ has died. Perhaps this will become the age of the weak guy who used to get sand kicked in his face - popular image last century for getting into body building. Like everything that NZ people get obsessed about it gets out of hand, like money worship, wealth and efficiency in NZ.)

Let's build ourselves up to be stronger and healthy people, and get on with life working as a community and not aim for big, bigger, biggest.
Leave that to blowhard USA.

David George said...

Thank you for your comment greywarbler, sometimes you talk a lot of sense, unfortunately this is not one of those times. Like a lot "on the left' you fall into the trap of seeing folk, not as they are, but as a caricature; a simplified, cartoon like, construct of the imagination. Our government, to our cost, suffer from the same blindness as outlined above by David stone.

Anyone with a little knowledge of human nature/psychology/history could see where the foolish tolerance of vigilante highwaymen would end. The compassionate, concerned townsfolk seeking to protect their community would be inevitably replaced; bullied out of the way by the last people you would want. The prospects for intimidation, control and power would prove irresistible and you end up with the strutting psychopath that accosted my daughter.

The conservative approach is to recognise that folk aren't perfect, that they have the familiar foibles of human nature. The wise, traditional response is to develop systems that operate with that in mind so that we can enjoy a functional society as far as that's possible. The police are an example; as well as their mandate from the people via our consent to be governed they are bound individually and collectively by protocol, procedure, oversight and accountability. Their opportunities to do real harm are thereby limited; not so your self appointed vigilante.

There are plenty of examples from history of the disastrous consequences. Lenin and Stalin deposed/murdered any half reasonable contenders and imposed a tyranny that allowed the full flowering of their hideous psychopathy. Hell on Earth and tens of millions of corpses was the result.

Jens Meder said...

greywarbler - but in what kind of society do you think we could build ourselves into stronger and (more) "healthy" people ?

A society of Haves with various levels of wealth ownership by all-
or our status quo with Haves and Have-Nots -
or a society of Have-Nots with no Haves at all ?

John Hurley said...

We are also a small and cohesive society. Says Wayne Mapp.
On one side is the managerial overclass—the university-credentialed elite that clusters in high-income hubs and dominates government, the economy and the culture. On the other side is the working class of the low-density heartlands—mostly, but not exclusively, native and white.

The two classes clash over immigration, trade, the environment, and social values, and the managerial class has had the upper hand. As a result of the half-century decline of the institutions that once empowered the working class, power has shifted to the institutions the overclass controls: corporations, executive and judicial branches, universities, and the media.

John Hurley said...

There should be a revolt in this country.
When European New Zealanders becoming a "majority - minority" is "a little sad" (RNZ) but the diversity is soo dazzling.
When the government sends a plane to bring back 3,000 "Kiwis" (they aren't Kiwis they are ***** Indians!).
When our public buildings are dominated by an archaic Maori culture.
When the only voices are those of Jeremy Corbyn journalists.
When highly paid **** Professors and public servants tweet about "whiteness"
When historians value dirt above all else (Scot Hamilton) *****
When Guyon Espiner admits he "loves winding those sort up" by substituting our own language for another. People get irritated for a reason language anchors us in society.
A Nation is it's people. People intuitively know who they are and who they are not.
Eric Kaufmann notes that their hasn't been much scholarship on racism. Meaning (I suppose) he rejects that whole cohort of academics currently driving culture?

Geoff Fischer said...

Kia ora David
Why do we have community action on Covid-19?
Quite simply because early on the government in Wellington dropped the ball. The borders should have been closed sooner. Self-isolation was a joke. Then when compulsory isolation was brought in travelers were given a couple of days to evade the quarantine procedures, with extra planes being put on and the deadline moved forward by a few hours to allow those planes still in the air to disembark their passengers without going into quarantine.
On top of this, the colonial government had signaled that it was following Boris Johnson's UK strategy, which was to let the epidemic run its course but to "flatten the peak" so that the NHS would, in his dreams, come through the crisis in relatively good shape.
Meanwhile, we were listening to our medical practitioners and epidemiologists and the message we got was that Wellington was heading towards a catastrophe. So we put in place our own measures, which as you would expect varied across the motu.
Anywhere in the world, when governments fail, people take up the burden of responsibility in their local communities. That is what happened here.
On top of that you have to remember that Maori never ceded sovereignty to the British Crown. The Crown has power, but it does not have legitimacy. It is the Crown which is the interloper, as the Crown knows very well.
When the people exercise power they must do so for good reasons and in a proper way - which means they must be polite, reasonable and friendly. If you directly encounter any misuse or abuse of popular power, then call the perpetrators out. You owe that to yourself, your community, and those who have taken authority upon themselves.
If you have been inconvenienced or endangered by community action, then speak directly to those responsible. It works, I can tell you.
Since Jacinda's policy U-turn on Covid-19 the situation is looking much better.
Some concerns remain (such as the Air New Zealand quarantine exemption) but if Jacinda's government can hold on course then expect to see a rapid falling away of visible community action. But in the background community action will and must continue. For example the MOH can do 7000 tests a day. Our people can do five million tests a day by checking the health and well being of everyone in their bubble and in their aggregated bubbles. Move systematically through the levels of aggregation. If you want to be scientific, take temperatures daily. Collectivise the acquisition of food and other essential supplies.
Road blocks and check points will cease to be necessary if Jacinda succeeds with "Level 4: Eliminate" and keeps tight control over the border. So will most of the other measures that local communities have put in place, although many people would be happy to see locally initiated emergency measures which have no element of compulsion or coercion (such as food, transport and errand sharing) remain in place indefinitely.
Nga mihi

David George said...

Thanks for the comments Geoff.
I can't agree that what was done to my daughter and many like her has any justification whatsoever and am pleased to see that the government have finally woken up and police presence is now required at any road blocks. Leaving it to self appointed thugs to do whatever they please was never going to work out as I'm sure you will accet.

Your assertion that "our people" are above or outside the law is baseless; where did you get that nonsense from? Regardless of what your ancestors may or not have agreed to; if you were born here, or are you allowed to become a citizen you accept and agree to be governed. Nothing to say you have to agree with the government but that's the way it works. The same applies to folk that didn't vote for the government or didn't vote at all. It's an act of faith and trust in and love for your fellow citizens. You can't just say "not my government". Sorry.

David Stone said...

Hi Geoff
Individual disapproval of an elected government's action, or tardiness of action, is not justification for taking the law into your own hands. Someone , many people would be flouting the law allover the place if this were appropriate. No law is ever approved by everyone. I was disappointed with the speed of reaction too at the start, particularly with the very belated random testing of un symptomatic volunteers. But it seems they felt the need to conserve the testing materials they had and it seems to have worked out well.
Where the police have been consulted and have a constant presence at these roadblocks the violation of the law is greatly mitigated, but without that it is incompatible with a civilised society. With the police presence it is still illegal and wrong, and it will be setting a precedent for the same behaviour to be followed post covid 19 on all manner of pretexts, by all manner of organisations with all manner of horrible results that you can imagine for yourself.
The police must be very conscious of this and be viewing the future with trepidation. The only reason I can see for their not stomping on it is the pandemic itself. To deal with the illegal roadblocks and the illegal flouting of the stage 4 rules might well precipitate a widespread physical confrontation that would result in wholesale breach of "social distancing" (antisocial distancing actually). But it in to a the cost in respect for the elected government, the police and democracy .
I concur with your assessment of the takeover of New Zealand from the Maori inhabitants a couple of centuries ago, but neither you or I would be here if it hadn't happened. And I like it here . I was born here and though I don't want to die , seeing it seems we all have to do that sooner or later I want to die here too.
The best that can be said about the european takeover of New Zealand is that it was probably the most reasonable arrangement made with an indigenous people that Britain ever performed of the numerous conquests she made over the centuries . That was a long time ago and Maori have been integrated with the colonists now to the extent that there are no longer any living people who are not actually more genetically European or other pakeha than Maori. So to a degree for a large slice of the population identifying as one or other has become a matter of choice.
To hark back to some disputed details of agreement or not with the wording of a document clearly designed in haste in an attempt to avert an uprising and wholesale bloodshed 180 years ago does not advance peaceful resolution to today's problems. IMHO.

Cheers David J S

Geoff Fischer said...

Kia ora Kiwidave
"if you were born here...you accept and agree to be governed."
The British laid down those terms in 1862. Those of our people who refused to pledge allegiance to the British Queen (at the time Victoria) were driven from their homes and had their lands confiscated.
There followed a series of wars which your side won.
Yet 160 years later there are still tens of thousands among us who refuse to give allegiance to the current reigning monarch, Elizabeth II, her "heirs and successors according to law", and the entire imperial system.
They do not "accept and agree" as you maintain they should and must, despite all that your regime has been able to throw at them.
So you are on a hiding to nothing KiwiDave.
We do say "not my government".
And there is nothing you can do about it, because you have tried everything. Dispossession, imprisonment, killing.
You say "That's the way it works" but in truth nothing works for you.
We can coexist with the colonial regime but we will not submit to it.
"Ka whawhai tonu matou ake ake ake".
You fail to understand that we are on the side of God and therefore we have God on our side.
You are on the side of a foreign monarch and an alien system of government whose power is slipping away by the day.
You should wake up to the fact that you can no longer impose your choice of government by force. Nowhere have I asserted that our people are "above or outside the law". On the contrary we are a people who absolutely believe in and insist upon the rule of law. We do not believe in arbitrary powers, "emergency rule" or "the dictatorship of the people" (actually a euphemism for the dictatorship of capital).
Naku noa.

Geoff Fischer said...

Kia ora David
As far as I know there are no checkpoints in our area. (There was one at the top of the hill which separates our two communities during the 1919 flu epidemic).
But over the years tangata whenua road blocks and checkpoints have been an occasional though not infrequent feature of life around Te Urewera, Te Tai Rawhiti and various other parts of the country. Our world has not fallen apart as a result.
The same phenomenon is seen in other parts of Polynesia, in fact wherever nation states have been laid over the top of indigenous tribal communities. Road blocks and check points bring attention to current concerns of local communities, and once they have served their purpose they are removed. Such tangata whenua actions are part of the fabric of Polynesian societies which serve a similar purpose to sternly worded editorials in European daily newspapers. Having said that, there is a tikanga to be observed. Checkpoints should be there for a good reason, and the people manning them should be polite, reasonable and amicable at all times.
It is interesting that Hone Harawira is involved in the Tai Tokerau checkpoints because Hone himself was infamously brought to an abrupt halt at a Crown checkpoint in the House of Representatives. Elected to Parliament by the hapori of Tai Tokerau, Hone was told when he arrived to take up his seat, that if he did not agree to swear allegiance to the British monarch he could turn around and return home to Tai Tokerau, leaving his hapori unrepresented in the New Zealand parliament.
Because Hone had been elected on a tino rangatiratanga platform, he could not swear allegiance to the British Queen with integrity and while keeping faith with his electors. I personally consider he made a mistake in eventually yielding to force. He himself probably now realizes that it would have been better to have saved his mana and shaken the dust from his feet as he departed the New Zealand parliament. At any rate, he has no reason to feel love or gratitude to the colonial regime.
So is it any worse for tangata whenua to set up checkpoints to keep themselves safe from a global pandemic, than it is for the colonial government to set in place political checkpoints designed to keep itself safe from the democratically expressed will of the people?
If you believe that it is the duty of the citizen to obey any government, regardless of its legitimacy or the weakness of its democratic credentials you might say that the state must be obeyed regardless of its iniquities.
However I have always believed that a state, no less than an individual, must earn respect and loyalty. The New Zealand state has not done that. It has consistently tried to coerce us into loyalty.
Apart from the Whakaputanga of 1835 the people of New Zealand have never agreed on a set of constitutional principles by which they may be governed. There was the Treaty of Waitangi which promised the continuing sovereign authority of nga iwi Maori, followed by a series of wars through which British sovereignty was foisted on Maori and Pakeha alike in breach of the Treaty. The state is now hoist with its own petard. It claims legitimacy through a Treaty which it will not and cannot honour. In these circumstances of dubious legitimacy it is futile to argue that the state must be accorded absolute obedience by all.
For the moment, we muddle along reasonably well. We do things our way, and you do things your way. If you want absolute obedience from us, then something has to change. You may become a fully fledged police state or you could adopt the more democratic and consensual ways of tikanga Maori. The first approach will not work. The second is actually working pretty well at the local level where everyone understands that they need to get along with one another and find that tikanga Maori is a good way of doing just that.

David George said...

Thank you for your reply Geoff. I do understand the issues; I'm a Kaikohe boy and descendant of Hongi Hika so have a broader perspective than you assume.
Your assertion of a separate sovereignty reads more like an ethno-nationalist declaration of war than any sort of reasonable proposal for the future.

There is a fundamental problem with the race based sovereignty issue; the consent to be governed, whether implicit in the treaty or not, has been de-facto accepted by our forbears. That 160 years of participation; the privileges and obligations, the right to vote, to be taxed, to fight wars for, and to receive the protection of, the sovereign cannot just be dismissed with the wave of the hand. It is, effectively, implicit consent to be governed.

The "foreign monarch" issue is a red herring, she is a figure head we accept, not of power, but as an acknowledgement, an act of humility and submission to the idea that above but outside of government is something higher. Above and beyond her is God; an ideal, if you like, that above man and all his foibles is an incorruptible reality: truth, beauty and the good. To believe that your divisive distortions are on the side of that is deeply worrying.
As Jacinda Ardern said in her famous (if a bit oxymoronic) statement; "They Are Us".

Perhaps "We Are One People" would have been better.

David George.

Unknown said...

Geoff F
According to Winston Churchill "it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.…"
It is as far as I know the only form of government that incorporates , however inefficiently , the mechanism to alter and improve it as the need perceived by the majority of participants requires. The only way of altering any other form of government is by violence .
However as we look around the world at the odyssey of covid 19 the shortcomings of the response of the most "exceptional" democracies in comparison with less democratic governments does give pause for reflection.
There isn't any particular advantage to an autocrat or autocratic elite to impoverish their people . It looks as if those more dictatorial regimes are better prepared and more oriented toward their population's wellbeing than the capitalist democracies.
However if you don't want to live in a democracy and accept the clumsily established will of the majority it would be as well to reflect just where the ethnic demographic you are championing would be situated in any other regime.

Cheers D J S

Geoff Fischer said...

Kia ora David George
Welcome to the regrettably small group of commenters on Bowalley Road who sign off giving their true identity.
Some clarification is in order. First, not all Maori are nationalist, and not all Pakeha are colonialist. So the question of "colony or nation" to borrow from the title of the book by W B Sutch is a political question, not a racial one. Your whakapapa, like mine, is of interest on a personal level but should have no bearing on our political ideals.
Colonialism, however, is race-based and therefore insists on making racial distinctions. It sets in place an un-elected head of state who is necessarily and for all time of the British race.
The Treaty of Waitangi is falsely portrayed as a treaty between races, which it never was (like all treaties it was a treaty between sovereign authorities), and the solutions to the injustices which followed on from the treaty and the wars (the Treaty of Waitangi settlement process) has been overtly race-based. The only colonialists who do not subscribe this race-based approach (the "Hobson's Pledge" brigade) and who promote the "one nation, one law" ideal, are frankly dishonest, anti-Maori and prepared to see injustice and inequity remain a permanent attribute of New Zealand society. They are also determined to maintain the British racial supremacy epitomized in the person of the sovereign.
Why do we need nationalism? Have we not managed to survive under 150 years of colonial government?
Yes we have, but it has not been all good. We have been caught up in a long series of imperial wars, both at home and abroad, to enormous cost. The New Zealand economy has been so dependent upon outside powers that the government has forsaken the sovereign right to make its own decisions on matters of peace and war, or international relations generally. Decision making powers within the state service have been vested in foreign managers and bureaucrats who as often as not prove to be incompetent or corrupt, while competent and honest New Zealanders languish in the lower ranks of the state. Industry and commerce have been taken over by foreign capital which has no real interest in the welfare of our land or our people. Meanwhile vast areas of land and residential property have been handed over to foreign buyers.
Huge numbers of immigrants have arrived from "non-traditional" sources, and given that New Zealand is a country with a race-based society and system of governance, that has alarming implications for the future. The level of crude anti-Chinese sentiment expressed on "The Daily Blog" for example should give everyone cause to re-think where we are headed as a nation.
The only way out is a system of government which is not race-based, and for us rangatiratanga is the ideal solution. God, as you say, is sovereign over all, but only rangatiratanga implicitly acknowledges that fact. After all, the word is used so often in the Holy Bible that we have a very good understanding of just how it relates to the sovereign authority of God Almighty.
Henry VIII declared himself Head of the Church of England, which would seem to establish a clear relationship between the British Crown and God, but the simple truth is that no worldly ruler has the right to proclaim himself the anointed of God, and in doing so the British crown led Britain, and New Zealand, down a dangerous path in which no one is considered responsible to God, and everyone, from the monarch down to the lowliest civil servant or soldier, holds that they are "only doing a job" for which they are not morally accountable.
So the regime which you think we should serve is not Godly, or legitimate, or safe. If allowed to run its full course, it will end in economic, political and racial turmoil as it has in virtually every other former British colony.

Geoff Fischer said...

Kia ora David Stone
You accept a Head of State who is not one of your own and who you did not choose to reign over you. A hereditary monarch from a foreign state. You may think that is of no great consequence and that it is "merely symbolic". I would say that the symbolism is significant and that it says a lot about the nature of the New Zealand state.
You may say that you choose your own leaders (meaning representatives, legislators and administrators of state) yet how often do you get the leader you voted for?
The reality is that you participate in a process than may give you the representative of your choice, but very often will not. If you do by chance get the representative of your choice you have by definition deprived someone else of their own choice, and you may also find that what you got is not actually what you thought you would get. How many Labour supporters understood that they were voting for Rogernomics? How many New Zealand First supporters understood that they were really voting for Jim Bolger or Jenny Shipley?
Under rangatiratanga you get not only your own choice of leader but also your own choice of constituency. No electoral process deprives you of that right and no betrayal or deception can be allowed to pervert your choice. Instead of "voting and complaining" ("You can't complain if you didn't vote") you choose your own leaders and then become morally responsible for your own choices.
So can you tell me how rangatiratanga is less democratic than the current colonial regime?
The autocratic regimes of East Asia may be performing "better" than the media controlled pseudo-democracies of the West. But genuine democracy is something different again. Where we have it, in our local communities, it works very well.
I am championing a culture and a political ideal rather than an "ethnic demographic", and I see no virtue in speculating what might be worse than the current colonial regime.
The point is to have something better. A system which is non-racial in all its aspects, from the ordinary citizen up to the Head of State and which is truly organically democratic.
New Zealand currently has a quasi-democratic government with autocratic powers. In the present circumstances that seems to be working reasonably well. But this morning, by declaring Covid-19 "eliminated" when the mass of the people can see that is nonsense, and the epidemiologists are dismayed, the New Zealand government is behaving more like the autocracies of which you are rightly suspicious, and less like a government "for the people and by the people". I understand the lawyerly distinction between "eliminate" and "eradicate" that has only now emerged, but most New Zealanders will be unimpressed.
We may be lucky with this government or we may not. But I will continue to put my trust in te rangatiratanga which has served us very well through recent months.
Kia kaha

sumsuch said...

All this individualism, which has destroyed the rule of the people. Why the modern western realms can't even address the Godzilla challenge of Klimate Khange.

Geoff, Maori have no basis for loyalty to the state. To avoid your own domestic explosions I'd start laying the dynamite. Except your humanity, despite our lack of it. Yet I feel I'm talking to people with open ears despite the disgusting 36 years.