TWM   Racism in Aotearoa-NZ

Ending racism the key to NZ's future - Dame Silvia
www.thepress.co.nz  MONDAY, 07 FEBRUARY 2005

New Zealand has to eliminate racism if it is to flourish and remain a good world citizen, Governor-General Dame Silvia Cartwright says. In a speech at Government House in Wellington yesterday to coincide with Waitangi Day, Dame Silvia said all traditions and cultures must be examined regularly to ensure they were inclusive. They could not exclude or repel those who were vulnerable or not part of a majority group... Waitangi Day was a day to take stock of where we were as a nation, Dame Silvia said... Though New Zealand was a multicultural nation, its foundation was bicultural – Maori and Pakeha. "Maori culture is New Zealand's indigenous culture. It has sprung from this land. It is something we all acknowledge, something we embrace, cherish and appreciate. What this culture means to us cannot be overstated." [...]
COMMENT: Until Pakeha govt returns all stolen resources to Tangata Whenua, TWM will continue with its programme as outlined in 2003.
The solution is simple. Just as
govt legislated the transfer of these resources to Pakeha control, it can now reverse that practice and return them to the appropriate Maori hapu-iwi entities. A precedent has already been set by the Waitangi claim process. Repealing the Foreshore and Seabed Act is also a priority. (07.02.05)

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Land of the long white cloud
RACISM Setting the history book straight
new internationalist 145 March 1985

White anti-racists in New Zealand have begun to use Maori words - to call themselves pakeha and their country Aotearoa, which means Land of the Long White Cloud.  Martin Maguire explains why their cause is so important.
HERE is a story told in New Zealand of Maori tour bus driver who would tell his passengers of the great defeats of the British soldiers inflicted by the Maori at various points in their tour. One day a passenger said timidly ‘Isn’t that the hill where the British massacred a lot of Maori warriors?’ The bus driver said, ‘As long as I drive the bus I will tell the history.’
It doesn’t matter whether or not the story is true. It illustrates the situation in New Zealand between the Maori and the pakeha. For 140 years the pakeha have been driving the bus and telling the history. It is a fabricated history, full of omissions and distorted perspectives.
The ‘official’ white history begins in 1840 with the signing of a Treaty between a representative of Queen Victoria and the indigenous tribes of Aotearoa. That Treaty has been the source of confusion, pain, anger and white justification ever since. The Treaty had given a guarantee of possession to the Maori -people over their lands, forests, and fisheries for as long as they wished to retain them. But most pakeha people viewed the Treaty as a basis for the gradual integration and eventual assimilation of Maori people into a European-based culture and society.
However the Treaty is a valid agreement which still lies between the two peoples. Maori dissatisfaction about their place in New Zealand society is persistent and widespread. Their anger at the failure to honour the Treaty continues. But successive pakeha governments have claimed racial harmony second to none in the world. Maori voices of pain and anger have been dismissed as not representative.
Even the most casual observer reading statistics put out by those same self-satisfied governments would see that a situation of grave injustice and inequality exists in New Zealand. The statistics tell a frightening story of a people in pain. A story of over-representation in prisons, of ‘failure’ in the education system; of a high unemployment rate; of appalling health statistics; of a shorter life expectancy.
Pakeha New Zealand has remained uncaring and unmoved in the face of this evidence. One reason for this is that most of us were taught a ‘sanitised’ version of New Zealand history. So much was left out. The British massacres of Maori people including women and children. The nonviolent resistance by Maori people against land-grabbing settlers. The corrupt land deals perpetrated by white settlers. The punishments Maori people faced for using their own language and customs. Subsequently we have a whole history of a people hidden from us. Meanwhile our own history has reinforced our feelings of superiority, our sense of the ‘rightfulness’ of our attempt to assimilate the peoples of Aotearoa.
But that doesn’t mean we should now dissolve into a long period of guilt. This is a self-serving emotion that may excuse us from taking any real action. Racism may not have been the intention in the colonization process of New Zealand and the greater part of the Pacific region, but it has surely been the outcome of the invasion process. We must remain clear about whose problem it is. It is ours.
It has come as a shock to some pakeha people that, in the quest for a bi-cultural society, it is -they who must change. The Maori and Pacific Islander are bi-cultural already. One of the most common pakeha reactions to any focus on the effects of racism is either to deny the evidence or to blame the victim. For example some whites would say that the large drop-out rate from the education system is because the Maori is lazy. They do not question the effects on them of an English-language European-centred school system. Instead they point to individual Maori people who ‘succeed’ in the white system.
One real danger that anti-racists face is that we may just try to improve race relations but ignore the structure that keeps racism in place. For many decades New Zealand has exported the impression that we are a country of extremely harmonious race relations. There is a high level of intermarriage and there is no overt discriminatory legislation.
Faced with growing Maori voices of protest and pain, there is a tendency for pakeha people to assume that their main response needs to be to improve their personal relationships with Maori people. This has seen an upsurge of interest in learning the Maori language, seeking invitations to visit traditional Maori tribal areas and a new pakeha interest in Maori art. There is no denying that this is extremely helpful in creating an understanding of another culture and goes some way towards building a caring community. But it does very little to counter racism. The real thing to tackle is the institutional power, wielded mainly by white males, which regularly ensures an outcome of discrimination.
The voices of protest have to be given more attention. Maori people have been voicing their grave concerns since soon after the Treaty was signed in 1840. Deputations of Maori leaders have travelled to London to present their grievances to the Queen, but have been prevented from making their petitions. Within the last two years the Kotahitanga Movement of the last century has been rekindled to present the Government with a united Maori voice
But the onus for change is now on us. We must face up to and challenge our own racism and that of our society. We have to stand in solidarity with the Maori and shed ourselves of our power. We must be actively anti-racist We have to be aware that racism destroys the oppressor as well as the oppressed.

Martin Maguire is Executive Officer of the Catholic Commission for Justice and Development in Christchurch.

COMMENT:  Also read "Race Relations in New Zealand" by Chris Ford.

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EXTRACTS FROM NEWS REPORTS:

1. Law & Order
2. Psychiatry
3. Employment
4. Politics-Bureaucracy
5. Education
6. Health
7. Women-Youth
8. Media
9. Immigration
10. Accommodation
11. Socio-economic
 


 ITEM 1. LAW & ORDER

Study reveals police racism
ONE News Saturday, September 25, 1999
A Maori advisor to the police says a study which highlights racist attitudes in the force will give it a clear mandate to do something about it. Victoria University's Criminology Department interviewed more than 700 officers in 1997, and found that at least two thirds of them had heard their colleagues using racist language. The study also found about 25% believe the negative attitudes of their peers are the same towards Pacific Island and Asian people. Professor Gabrielle Maxwell, who carried out the study of officers, says in a separate study of the views of Maori, many felt they were targeted by police officers because of their race.
Doctor Pita Sharples, a member of a Maori focus forum which advises the Police Commissioner, says new ventures between Maori communities and the police are now planned. Sharples says he thinks the results of the study would be similar if it was conducted in any government department.  [...]

Police told to work on attitudes to Maori
NZ Herald
06.06.2000
The country's top policeman has told his staff they need to be brutally honest with themselves about the way they deal with rifts with Maori. Rob Robinson, the Acting Police Commissioner, says the police's relationship with Maori needs a lot more work. In the police internal magazine Ten One, he said police "copped some painful accusations about our attitudes and dealings with Maori" after the April 30 fatal shooting of Steve Wallace in Waitara. 
[...]

Taranaki report: Evidence of racism
ONE NEWS  September 20, 2000
The Race Relations Conciliator has called for police in Taranaki to form a better relationship with Maori, and for the two to work together to develop protocols for managing crises in the future. Rajen Prasad's report 'Relationships in Taranaki' was prompted by concerns expressed after Steven Wallace was shot dead by a police officer in Waitara earlier this year.
He says there is evidence of institutional racism and Maori under-achievement in the region.
Prasad also wants to see a new group set up in Taranaki to lead and develop better relationships in the region. He says a 'Taranaki Group' will need to be established with credible, skilled people dedicated to developing good relationships between individuals and institutions in the region.

Let's deal with crime causes, says Lashlie
INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS LTD  13 August 2001 [Abridged]
White middle-class New Zealanders need to wake up and realise that they are a part of crime in New Zealand, says the former head of Specialist Education Services in Nelson, Celia Lashlie. Mrs Lashlie, who lost her job after making comments about an angelic blond boy who would grow up to be a killer, said New Zealanders needed to stop blaming law and order problems on others such as Maori or government legislation and look at the real reasons behind crime.
Speaking in Blenheim on Saturday to top of the south justices of the peace, Mrs Lashlie said there would not have been the same reaction to her comments if she had highlighted a Maori child and not picked on a predominantly middle class Nelson. "They tell me the part I said wrong was that he was blond, not Maori, and that he was from Nelson and of course we don't have (serious crime) in Nelson."
Mrs Lashlie, also the former head of Christchurch Women's Prison, said the biggest challenge faced by offenders attempting to rejoin mainstream society was the prejudicial attitudes of those on the "outside"... there was a reluctance by middle class New Zealanders to accept them into their communities and allow them to move on, she said. "We like to think that we offer a land of equal opportunity. That's crap. That's an indulgent middle-class theory that makes us feel good about the world." [...]

Judiciary, Maori close gap
NZ Herald  Wednesday March 28, 2001
The Judiciary's handling of tikanga Maori has improved significantly but judges can still do better, says the president of the Law Commission. Justice David Baragwanath's comments accompany the release today of a commission report, Maori Custom and Values in New Zealand. Tikanga Maori, in a broad sense, is the body of rules and values developed by Maori to govern themselves. While aimed specifically at the legal system, the report says New Zealanders must also make a total commitment to the Treaty of Waitangi and Maori values in law. That commitment must involve a real effort to understand what tikanga Maori is, and its importance to Maori, it says. 
Justice Baragwanath said judges had to understand what those customs and values were, "and take them on board pretty smartly." The same could be said for lawyers, policy-makers and parliamentarians.

Bashings, lies by police claimed
NZ Herald Monday March 22, 2004
Some police officers make violent and racial attacks, set dogs on surrendering prisoners, falsify evidence and lie in court, say long-serving former police staff. The claims were made last night on the TV3 current affairs programme 20/20 by four former police officers. They painted a picture of police violence and brutality during the 1990s. Three of the former officers are now lawyers and include former Senior Sergeant Mike Meyrick, and Tony Grieg and Alex Hope, both former sergeants... They said regular racial attacks were made on Maori... Mr Grieg said Maori were called "niggers". The officers said when they tried to speak out they were alienated and that officers who did not share the same attitudes and culture as the rest of the force were unlikely to be promoted. [...]

STATE/POLICE TERRORISM? 1000 march on jail over police raids
NZ Herald Sunday October 28, 2007
Up to 1000 people, including politicians, joined activists yesterday in a march to Auckland's Mt Eden Prison to protest against recent police raids. A bus filled with people from Tuhoe arrived especially for the march, one of 13 organised in centres around the country. Seventeen people were arrested under the Firearms Act and the Terrorism Suppression Act on October 15 following raids in Auckland, Wellington, Palmerston North, Hamilton, Christchurch, Whakatane and Ruatoki, 20km south of Whakatane. The raids were the culmination of a year-long investigation into weapons training camps alleged to have been held in the Urewera country, and netted a haul of weapons. With those from Tuhoe leading the march, the protesters chanted pro-democracy and freedom slogans and carried signs saying they were not terrorists.
Meanwhile, a lawyer has told the Maori Party annual meeting that Maori have been wrongly branded as terrorists. Maori must not buy into this police tactic, Moana Jackson told the meeting at a Hastings marae yesterday. He said the "so-called"
terrorism allegations which sparked police raids in the Bay of Plenty and other areas in the past two weeks should be looked at through the lens of Maori resistance.
"Every act of resistance by Maori since 1840 has been met with opposition. Colonising powers don't take challenge to their authority lightly. Those who take power unjustly defend it with injustice," Jackson told the meeting at the Omahu Marae. "We must not define our people as terrorists. We might not agree with their methods but there's no place for words like rebel, heathen or savage." Jackson criticised the use of the term terrorism when search warrants and arrests were done under the Summary Offences Act. People had been arrested under the Firearms Act and held in custody while police tried to accumulate evidence to justify charges under the Terrorism Suppression Act, which requires approval from the Attorney General, Jackson said.


ITEM 2.  PSYCHIATRY

Racism shock in survey of psychiatrists
NZ Herald Tuesday, March 07 2000 [Abridged]
Many senior male psychiatrists believe mentally ill Maori are born that way, an Auckland University survey has found. The survey of 247 psychiatrists - who answered anonymously - shows a majority of European New Zealand-born men with more than 10 years' experience think Maori are naturally inclined to psychiatric illness. Comments included "Maori are biologically predetermined to mental illness - especially psychosis," and "Genetically, Maori as a culture seem predisposed to mental illness."[...]
The survey organisers - psychologist and Auckland University lecturer Dr John Read and Maori MA psychology student Kelly Johnstone - say the responses are racist and of grave concern... "This alarming finding raises questions about the effectiveness of procedures for selection into professional training programmes to screen out applicants with overtly racist attitudes." None of the female psychiatrists surveyed shared the beliefs of the group of 28 experienced men - and neither did men with less experience.[...]
Dr Read told the Herald no evidence backed the biological-genetic theory. He said it was"a typical racist explanation for why Maori are doing so badly in so many areas." "It's convenient for Pakeha to have those attitudes because then we don't have to accept any of the responsibility."
Dr Nick Judson, secretary of the Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, said there was no excuse for the racist comments, and social issues were far more likely to affect Maori mental health...

ITEM 3.  EMPLOYMENT

Study shows ethnic wage gaps
ONE News  October 09, 2000
A new study has found that non-European ethnic groups are being widely discriminated against in the workforce. The Otago University study shows they are having trouble getting jobs, and once they do, they are likely to be paid less than Pakehas. The study shows that despite having similar jobs and qualifications, Maori were paid between nine and 14%  less an hour than non-Maori, in the past three years and Pacific Islanders were paid between 14 and 21% less an hour. The team based its research on Statistics New Zealand's income surveys and took factors such as age, qualifications, occupational class and location, into account. But the Employers' Federation says it can be dangerous to blame discrimination for such income gaps. Federation policy manager John Pask says assuming discrimination on the basis of income figures is dangerous because it could lead to making the wrong policy decisions. Pask says the issue is complex, and the best mechanism to prevent discrimination is a competitive labour market. 

Email leads to racism complaint
Stuff 30 January 2006
An email deriding Maori land claimants has prompted a complaint to the Human Rights Commission after being circulated among workers at Norske Skog Tasman mill in Kawerau. NorskeSkog Tasman employees Rongo McDonald and Matekino Raerino first saw the letter early in December pinned to a workplace noticeboard. Mrs Raerino said it had been emailed to a Norske Skog employee, who emailed it to others in the workplace. The document, titled Application to Become a Maori Landowner, refers to Maori as criminals, dope growers, gamblers, welfare beneficiaries and beggars. It appears to have been intended as a joke but Mrs Raerino said she did not find it funny... The document finishes with: "I promise that if I get this land handed to me I will sit on my (bottom) and let the gorse grow, build 37 houses on it, remain on a benefit and continue to bleed the system like my ancestors." Kawerau man Sonny Mansell was shown the email by a friend working for Norske Skog Tasman and he found it offensive...  Mr McDonald filed a complaint with the Human Rights Commission in December but had not yet had a response. Norske Skog external relations manager Chris Marjoribanks said a complaint had been made to the human resources department in December and as far as he knew the incident had been adequately dealt with then...Human Rights Commission spokeswoman Carolyn Jurriaans acknowledged the complaint and said the commission would assess whether it fell within the bounds of racial harassment in the work place.  [...]


ITEM 4.  POLITICS-BUREAUCRACY

Racist Pakeha government legislation
1. Legislative Violations of the Treaty of Waitangi
2. The Foreshore and Seabed claim

Clark making right noises says Samuels
NZ Herald  Friday, June 02 2000 [Abridged]
WELLINGTON - Maori Affairs Minister Dover Samuels supports Prime Minister Helen Clark's taking charge of improving Maori welfare because, he says, Government departments are ignoring him. Mr Samuels was commenting on a Te Puni Kokiri (Ministry of Maori Development) report showing continuing wide gaps between Maori and non-Maori... Mr Samuels said yesterday... that Government agencies had an entrenched culture of ignoring Maori issues and Maori Affairs ministers... "But when it's the PM leading the charge, then all of a sudden they are not deaf any more. They have to hear, and they have to get on and do the job." 
"If we don't, we will have a dysfunctional country," he said. "We will have a major group of Maori who feel that they are alienated in their land. We will end up in chaos."

Black lawyer: Customs harassed me
NZ Herald 19.07.2000
Complaints that Customs twice stopped a black passenger at Auckland Airport because of his race will be investigated. The Race Relations Office said yesterday that it would look into a claim of discrimination by the 49-year-old Jamaican-born Auckland lawyer, who believes he was singled out because of his colour. Colin Henry, who was granted New Zealand residency in 1995, said he was deeply offended by the questioning. Mr Henry was pulled aside in May and again this month after trips to the United States as treats for surviving major cancer surgery. The first time, he says, he was singled out for attention while a crowd of mainly European passengers went unquestioned. In the latest incident, he said, an officer "made a straight line" for him, questioning him about his Customs declaration and his reasons for being in the country... When Mr Henry expressed his annoyance, a police officer threatened to arrest him. Mr Henry says that when he pointed out that no one else had been questioned, the police officer told him that if he did not like conditions in New Zealand, he did not have to come... Auckland Airport manager Paul Campbell would not comment on Mr Henry's complaints, but he confirmed that customs staff questioned travellers based on profiles, which sometimes included ethnicity... The Race Relations Conciliator, Dr Rajen Prasad, said customs profiling was a concern because it could be a form of stereotyping. [...]
Further claims of Customs racism
20.07.2000 - By LIBBY MIDDLEBROOK
African-born Boubacar Coulibaly does not bother racing to the front of the customs line at Auckland Airport any more.
The 40-year-old Auckland man says he knows he will be one of the last people through...
Mr Coulibaly, treasurer of the African Community of Auckland Region, has been questioned and searched at least three times by customs staff during the past decade despite having no criminal history. He is one of several people the Herald spoke to this week who have complained of racial discrimination by the airport's customs staff after being questioned for no apparent reason other than the colour of their skin... During the past two years Aucklander Margritt deMan, who has dark skin despite her European origins, has been questioned four times. She said this week that when she returned from holidays in Melbourne, Samoa and England, her baggage was x-rayed each time despite her not having goods to declare. The Housing NZ area manager and law student, who does not have any convictions, believed there was nothing random about Customs' selection of passengers. The honorary South African consul, Gregory Fortuin, has been detained only once by a customs officer... Mr Fortuin said that while he did not mind being questioned, he certainly did object to Customs including ethnicity factors in its profiles. [...]

Mallard fuels race debate
NZ Herald 30.07.2004

Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia thinks Pakeha could call themselves "native New Zealanders" but not indigenous as Cabinet Minister Trevor Mallard said in his first speech as Race Relations Minister. "New Zealanders who have been here for some time could call themselves native New Zealanders, but I would think the 300 million indigenous people around the world would be surprised." She said that being indigenous was about being part of the original people and that the term native meant being born in a particular place... She said there was similarity with National leader Don Brash's Orewa speech to the extent they were both trying "to influence the voting public"... Mrs Turia said he had focused on article three, not article two "which did clearly confirm Maori rangatiratanga, power and authority over their people, their resources". [...]

SIS Investigating Maori Party
Scoop Thursday, 11 November 2004
Racism in Government spy agency. Click here.

Fury persists over Commisioner's 'racist' remarks
NZ Herald  15.06.05
 Calls for the resignation of New Zealand's High Commissioner to Canada, Graham Kelly, persisted today despite his apologising "unreservedly to all New Zealanders" for comments described as racist made to a Canadian senate committee. Mr Kelly, a former Labour MP, made references to Maori "fighting and eating each other", to Asians "strip-mining" beaches of periwinkles and to a Pacific Island minister and his congregation "taking everything that moved" from a beach... Mr Kelly was giving evidence about New Zealand's fisheries quota management system to the Senate committee on fisheries and oceans in Ottawa on April 14... Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia said Mr Kelly's remarks were "extremely offensive" and it was not acceptable to pass them off as a joke... National MP Pansy Wong described Mr Kelly's comments as racist and said he should step down. She was astounded that he had put down a large section of the population in front of a foreign Government, and predicted a backlash in Asian communities. "He can't represent New Zealand if he wishes to voice racist opinions and alienate Asian New Zealanders." [...]
COMMENT:  Kelly's ignorance of the history of rampant resource theft | exploitation by Pakeha is revealed in his remarks above. In recognition of his nescience, the next major flood will be named "Kelly". (16.06.05)
Click here for an update. (02.11.05)

National 'risks racial backlash'
NZ Herald  07.09.05
Maori leaders have warned of growing racial tension over the National Party's vow to axe Maori seats and its subsequent gains in recent polls. The Labour MP for Tamaki Makaurau... has warned of "unprecedented resentment" among Maori following the relaunch of National's Maori policy... Mr Tamihere's warning has been echoed by Mr Sharples and the chairmen of two powerful iwi...  Mr Tamihere said the resentment was inflamed by ideas that Maori... were labelled as enjoying unprecedented preference. "I know of thousands of Maori in Otara that would swap their 'privilege' with anyone in the National Party who wants to swap... Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples last week also warned of a Maori backlash if moves were made against the Maori seats. Ngapuhi chairman Sonny Tau has also warned of a growing uproar. "Maori are viewing these moves as pure racism - Maori are sick and tired of political parties using them as political footballs. We have fought too hard to have someone take away our rights." Ngai Tahu chairman Mark Solomon said there had been growing disquiet among his people, and discussions within the tribe. "Don Brash raised a lot of challenges at Orewa last year about Maori privilege that turned out to be rubbish. He has just rekindled the same rubbish." [...]

Indigenous Rights Movement Alarmed by NZ's Policy
Scoop Friday, 9 December 2005
Press Statement [American Indian Law Alliance and other indigenous organisations]
International Indigenous Peoples' Rights Movement Alarmed by New Zealand's Policy on Indigenous Peoples' Self-Determination at the UN
Leading indigenous peoples' non-governmental organisations, including the American Indian Law Alliance (AILA), today expressed profound concern about New Zealand's proposed amendments to the article on indigenous peoples' right to self-determination in the UN Draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. States and indigenous peoples are currently negotiating the Draft Declaration at the UN in Geneva.
The New Zealand Government (in conjunction with the United States and Australia) proposed changes to limit the indigenous peoples' right to self-determination to rights of self-management. AILA representative, Kent Lebsock, described the proposal as an "assault on the human rights of all Indigenous peoples" and "discriminatory, colonial and racist". The Governments' position undermines emerging consensus between states and indigenous peoples on an indigenous peoples' right to self-determination, and falls below existing international legal standards. It also discriminates against indigenous peoples. New Zealand's proposed amendments are consistent with its increasingly hostile approach to indigenous peoples' rights under international law. In March 2005, the Government criticised the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination's finding that the Foreshore and Seabed Act 2003 is discriminatory. It has also indicated that it will reject negative findings by the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and indigenous peoples conflicting with governmental policy.
[Note: Maori have not been present at this week's meetings, but Claire Charters [Te Arawa] will be attending next week.]


Transit New Zealand - Waitangi Day request to fly Maori flag on bridge denied
NZ Herald Wednesday January 31, 2007
Managers of the Auckland Harbour Bridge have knocked back a request by a Maori sovereignty group to hoist the Maori independence flag on the Auckland Harbour Bridge on Waitangi Day. The group, Ata Tino Toa, lodged a request with Transit last week seeking permission to fly the distinctive red black and white tino rangatiratanga flag from the prominent Auckland landmark on February 6.
The group says the flag should be afforded the same prominence as flags of other countries, including Italy, France and Australia, which have been allowed to fly their flags on their respective national days. Transit, however, disagreed, saying the flag did not represent a recognised country so would not be allowed to be flown from the bridge. Transit spokeswoman Denise Beazley said the tino rangatiratanga flag would not be flown on Waitangi Day or any other day from the bridge. "Transit New Zealand has a policy whereby we only approve the flying of flags of other countries, not associations or organisations." She said approval applied only to countries recognised by the Government, with their flags flown on their national or independence days. Ms Beazley said past requests had forced the Government agency to tighten the policy on who could fly flags from the Auckland Harbour Bridge.
Ata Tino Toa spokesman Teanau Tuiono said Transit's decision was a disgrace. "The Aboriginal flag has been recognised in Australian law for 10 years. It flew on the Sydney Harbour Bridge for Reconciliation Day in 2000. "Transit have allowed corporates to fly their flags, a right they will not extend to the indigenous people of this country." Mr Tuiono said the tino rangatiratanga flag represented the promise of Maori rights guaranteed under the Treaty of Waitangi. "It represents the promises of the Treaty, the promises that were not met." [...]
COMMENT: And for interesting developments on this issue, click here.

NZ to boycott UN conference on racism - McCully
Monday Apr 20, 2009
Minister of Foreign Affairs Murray McCully says New Zealand will not be attending this week's Durban Review Conference on racism in Geneva, Switzerland... The US and at least six other countries are also boycotting the event out of concern that Islamic countries will demand that it denounce Israel and ban criticism of Islam. The administration of President Barack Obama, America's first black head of state, announced on Saturday that it would boycott "with regret" the week-long meeting in Geneva, which already is experiencing much of the bickering and political infighting that marred the 2001 conference in Durban, South Africa.The Netherlands and Germany announced their boycotts yesterday, while Australia, Canada, Israel and Italy already had said they would not attend...  Israel and Jewish groups have lobbied hard against Western participation in the meeting, arguing that the presence alone of American and European negotiators would give legitimacy to what they fear could become an anti-Semitic gathering. Israel's Foreign Ministry yesterday thanked the boycotters and predicted the conference would "once again serve as a platform to denigrate Israel and single it out for criticism"... European countries have also criticised the meeting for focusing heavily on the West and ignoring problems of racism and intolerance in the developing world.  [...]

ITEM 5.  EDUCATION

Identifying Institutional Racism: Researching A Tertiary Institution’s Commitment to the Treaty of Waitangi Charter Provisions  Cat McIsaac,  Central Institute of Technology

School carpets teacher for telling racist jokes
NZ Herald 03.08.2004
A Tauranga teacher has been disciplined for telling racist jokes at an assembly. The teacher's school has also apologised to an upset parent who complained about the jokes, which included puns on Samoan names and made references to Maori. Mt Maunganui Intermediate School board of trustees has taken disciplinary action against the woman teacher, and is considering a new internal policy to ensure it never happens again. The board investigated her conduct at the school's May 28 assembly after a parent laid a complaint. The parent, who did not want to be named, said she had received a letter apologising for the jokes and saying the teacher had been disciplined... The school has not made any public apology. Principal Royston Scholes confirmed there had been no public apology to students...

Playing with fire
The Independent - 09 March 2005 : Chris Trotter
Something about the spectacle of a Labour government forcing a large and successful Maori educational institutioninto giving up control of its own affairs makes me uneasy. Such a ruthless deployment of state power is rare, especially in the absence of conclusive proof that serious wrongdoing has taken place. Trevor Mallard's determination to strip Rongo Wetere of Te Wananga o Aotearoa - the Maori "university" he constructed, almost single-handed, out of a Te Awamutu garage - is even more worrying. On the basis of nothing more than accusations made under the protection of parliamentary privilege, the work of a lifetime is being systematically destroyed... His wananga, far from being an institution dedicated to the preservation of ancient Maori lore, is a thrusting and aggressively contemporary organisation dedicated to readying Maori and non-Maori alike for life in the 21st century...
Rongo Wetere's success was almost entirely a result of the active encouragement of the New Zealand state... So long as Te Wananga o Aotearoa worked to the government's advantage its founder's nepotism could be winked at and worked on quietly behind the scenes. But now Wetere threatened to become a political player on his own account, the internal workings of the wananga could be used to discredit him and to bring him down. Let all Maoridom take notice of Wetere's fate. This lies in store for anyone brave or foolhardy enough to challenge the dominant political paradigms of the New Zealand State. [...]

COMMENT: Pakeha govt wants to play with fire. It will be a different game with floods. Guaranteed. (31.03.05)

Unregistered school taken to court by Govt
NZ Herald  08.04.05
Parents and management at a tiny Northland school defying Ministry of Education orders to close are being taken to court by the Government... The school, near Moerewa, defied the final warning and the ministry has now started legal action... However, Orauta School board of trustees chairman Ken Brown welcomed the prosecution as he said the primary school was operating legally under Maori laws which state Maori had a right to govern their own matters. Orauta School is the second school in the country to face prosecution after a makeshift school was set up on a marae in the Hawke's Bay... Mr Brown said more children had joined the school since the Ministry of Education sent warning letters to about 12 families last month, bringing the role up from around 35 to 40. The school, which has been renamed Te Kura Kaupapa Maori O Te Maara O Hineamaru Ki Orauta, employs two teachers who have not been receiving regular wages.
[...]

 ITEM 6.  HEALTH

Maori access to health questioned
ONE News  Aug 17, 2001
According to associate health minister Tariana Turia, told a health conference on Friday, that Maori receive fewer services than they are entitled to, because a disproportionate amount of the health dollar is spent on Pakeha. Proportionately, more Maori die from heart disease each year than Pakeha. However, Turia claims most of the money set aside for heart surgery for Maori, doesn't reach them. "I'm saying there's been a bias against Maori - an attitude against Maori people (with) GPs alienating them. That's why they haven't accessed critical treatments."... The minister told a crowd of 250 at the Christchurch Medical School, that the way the health system has been set-up has made access difficult for Maori. "In the end, what I am saying is Maori people haven't been part of the design of the health systems in this country and we've always focused on them as the problem rather than the system itself," said Turia.

Life expectancy disparities among ethnic groups widen
NZ Herald  09.07.2003
There are growing disparities in life expectancy among Maori, Pacific and European New Zealanders, according to a major study released today. The joint report, by researchers from Otago University's Wellington School of Medicine and Health Sciences and the Health Ministry, shows European New Zealanders now have a life expectancy around 10 years longer than that for Maori... The report pointed to major economic and social changes starting in the early 1980s as a factor in the disparities... Co-author Bridget Robson said Maori leaders in the 1980s had predicted government policies would make Maori the shock absorbers of the economy. The researchers pointed out that the divergence in life expectancy started at the time of the economic reforms in the early 1980s. "We've known for some time that ethnic identity is an important dimension of health inequalities in New Zealand, but this is the first time that robust ethnic mortality rates have been available, allowing the full extent of the disparity to be documented. Such health inequalities are unacceptable," Dr Matheson, the ministry's deputy Director-General of Public Health, said.

Health boards told to take action over patient racism
NZ Herald Thursday June 21, 2007
It is vital health boards crack down on racist attitudes expressed by patients against medical staff, Race Relations Commissioner Joris de Bres says. His comments follow reports some patients unwilling to have foreign doctors operate on them have cancelled their surgery at Wanganui Hospital. The patients' actions followed revelations that Czech-born gynaecologist Roman Hasil botched a series of sterilisations on women at the hospital. He fled New Zealand in March and Health and Disability Commissioner Ron Paterson is investigating. Since then, some staff have been racially abused and three patients have cancelled operations. Mr de Bres said it was the duty of the health boards to deal with that type of behaviour. [...]


 ITEM 7.  WOMEN-YOUTH

Discrimination times two for smart Maori women
NZ Herald Tuesday September 03, 2002  [Abridged]
Helen Potter remembers how it was okay for girls to be bright at her all-girl high school, but not to be bright and Maori - as though no one expected that. She felt her Maoriness became invisible, helped by her fair skin and blue eyes, so rather than being encouraged to study Maori she was guided into the traditional academic subjects. For Maori women, she says, racism and sexism cannot be separated, each making the other more acute.
She went on to do a science and technology degree at Waikato University. In her final year she took a paper on women in management and was introduced to theories about racism and sexism which resonated with her experiences as a young Maori woman. In her first job in the veterinary pharmaceutical industry she got a practical demonstration of how discrimination works. [...]
Studying for her PhD has not only given Potter the chance to address issues affecting Maori, but she believes it will give her the freedom to combine contract research work with one day having children and her professional life with a desire to act as a conduit between Maori community needs and aspirations and Pakeha decision-makers. She says her personal connection to these issues has propelled her through her study, helped by the close association with other Maori, men and women, through the Massey Albany Maori staff and student whanau.

NZ a racist place, Bic Runga tells Irish paper 
NZ Herald Monday March 29, 2004
Christchurch singing sensation Bic Runga, who left New Zealand to further her career in Paris last year, has labelled her homeland racist. The musician, who is half Maori and half Chinese, was quoted in the Belfast Telegraph as saying "relationships can be really bad between Maoris and others". "The Australian situation is probably better known abroad, but unfortunately New Zealand can be a racist place too," she said. Runga, one of New Zealand's most successful singer/songwriters, said her childhood in Christchurch was tough and racism was a constant feature... Runga's views come at a time when the race debate is a hot topic of discussion in New Zealand. Race Relations Commissioner Joris de Bres is one person who can understand where Runga is coming from. He said part of the problem was that New Zealanders liked to portray an image overseas of a country with harmonious race relations. "But at the same time we are consuming ourselves at home with a major, polarising debate on race relations. I think the challenge is to synchronise the brand we sell overseas and the way we live at home." [...]

NZ youth more racist than adults
nzoom  Published Sep 15, 2002
A group of young people at a conference to tackle the concerns of minority ethnic youth say that their peers are often more racist than adults. Thirty-five young people gathered in Wellington at the meeting, which had been convened by the Federation of Ethnic Councils. The ethnic youth forum came up with ways to improve life for young people in refugee or migrant families in New Zealand. The forum revolved around identity, values and life in New Zealand for the children of migrant and refugee families. 
One of the delegates, Roa'a Fawzi, whose family is Iraqi, says young people face issues like racism, bullying or not being accepted into a group. Fawzi says her peers are often both more racist than adults and more keenly affected by racism. And Yashoda Narayan, who is Malaysian, says not all New Zealanders live up to the country's reputation for tolerance. She says there are quite a few people who don't like things which challenge their view... The forum presented a declaration to the government which sets out suggestions for change in areas like education, cultural tolerance, employment and the media. [...]

Racial attacks stun old Chinese
NZ Herald 20.10.2003
The teenage girls who threw eggs at 61-year-old Ruifang Ye and her 71-year-old husband hissed "Chinese, Chinese". A group of young men threw stones at Xiaoxiang Chang, 67, and his 70-year-old wife while they were waiting by the bus stop near their home. Sixty-nine-year-old Liwen Sun has been afraid to leave his home since a youth hit him with a road cone. The incidents are among 14 cases of abuse of elderly Chinese people in Northcote recorded by the Chinese Association of North Shore City, where Asian numbers have more than quadrupled from 1991 to 2001 to reach 17,360 - 12.3 per cent of the local population. Chairman Zhongchen Pan said the attacks occurred almost every week, mostly in broad daylight, and the situation was getting worse. Mr Pan said he wished the incidents were just typical teenage pranks, but he believed they were racially motivated. [...]

Decision soon on format of Christchurch anti-racism rally
NZ Herald 05.05.2004
Organisers of an anti-racism march in Christchurch will decide tomorrow if it will go ahead or be changed to an indoor "harmony" rally. Christchurch lawyer Hock Lee planned the march through the central city and a gathering in Cathedral Square afterwards, to highlight his concern about racially motivated attacks on Asian people... Yesterday Mr Lee and his colleagues met Christchurch mayor Garry Moore for two hours to discuss the march. Mr Moore last week asked Mr Lee to cancel because the extremist right-wing New Zealand  National Front was planning a "counter-protest" at the same time. He said the event could become a powderkeg. The National Front is opposed to Asian immigration and says: "If Asian people don't fit into our culture, they are going to be abused." Yesterday Mr Moore said he would support and attend the "pro-harmony" rally. But he wanted more emphasis on "harmony" than racial problems. Also at the meeting were representatives of other groups, including Somalian Muslims, Koreans, and Taiwanese. [...]

Teen vandals get year for mosque attacks
NZ Herald 30.11.05
Two teenagers dressed in army camouflage clothing were spotted outside a Manurewa mosque with their car lights off, and one made offensive comments about Muslims when questioned by suspicious police. It was July 8, just hours after news broke of the London bombings, but police let the pair go. Shortly after, the youths began a three-day spate of vandalism against Muslim places of worship round Auckland. Jason Paul Molloy, 19, and Ross Mark Baumgarten, 18, were yesterday each sentenced to one year's imprisonment for seven counts of intentional damage on mosque and cultural centres... At their sentencing in the Manukau District Court, Judge Thomas Everitt said that on July 7 Molloy had texted an associate: "The war has begun! Sand niggers have blown up London. We should retaliate against mosques here"... In all, six mosques or cultural centres had their windows smashed and graffiti reading "R I P London" sprayed on their walls in seven attacks. Judge Everitt said the outrageous desecration was motivated by religious or racial hate and corrupted politics. [...]


ITEM 8.  MEDIA

PM condemns Holmes race jibe
NZ Herald  Thursday September 25, 2003
Prime Minister Helen Clark has distanced New Zealand from broadcaster Paul Holmes' description of United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan as a "cheeky darkie". In a tirade during his morning radio show on NewstalkZB, Holmes said the world was not going to be told how to live by a Ghanaian... He several times referred to Mr Annan, winner of the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize, as a "cheeky darkie".
Holmes last night "unreservedly withdrew" the comments, admitting that what he said was "appalling". The radio and TV star said he was not a racist, but had "surrendered to baseness". His comments have been universally condemned.
Helen Clark distanced New Zealand from Holmes' words. "That comment was completely unacceptable and demeaning of one of the world's top civil servants," she said. "I would not want New Zealand in any way to be associated with such comments."  Race Relations Commissioner Joris de Bres said the comments were insulting and belittling. "It is not a very appropriate way to describe the Secretary-General of the United Nations," he said. "The colour of his skin is hardly an issue. [...]

Shortland Street Star Speaks Out Against Racism
Scoop Media Release: Multicultural Aotearoa
Thursday 14 October 2004
Actress and musician Li-Ming Hu, otherwise known as Shortland Street’s “Doctor Li-Mei Chen”, is calling on New Zealanders to attend the Wellington march against racism on Labour Weekend. “Racism is still a significant problem in New Zealand,” said Li-Ming, “and in a way the National Front is just the tip of the iceberg. There is a lot of ignorance and misinformation about racial minorities. Marching against racist groups like the National Front is a vital way to bring the issue to the public eye.” ...according to Li-Ming, who holds a Masters degree in History. Racism in New Zealand is not new to Li-Ming, who plays an immigrant doctor from Mainland China on the national soap. Li-Ming’s own parents were immigrant doctors from Singapore and Taiwan. The National Front are planning a nationwide picket of businesses displaying signage in Asian languages, and their official policy calls for the repatriation of Asian and Pacific people to their countries of origin. They planned to march to Parliament against the “Asian Invasion”, but have been forced to shift the ‘focus’ of their march to the New Zealand flag due to mounting public opposition to their agenda. The March for a Multicultural Aotearoa will start by rallying at the courtyard of Te Papa at midday, next Saturday 23 October.

ITEM 9.  IMMIGRATION

From 10-pound Poms to racial melting pot
NZ Herald  Friday, July 07 2000 [Abridged]
How does New Zealand choose its immigrants? 
WARREN GAMBLE looks at the closed shop of the old 'white nation' policy and compares it with today's system based on points. Until 1974, British citizens fancying a long journey to settle in a roomier, hotter land could hop on the next ship to New Zealand. No permit needed, just come on down. It had been that way for more than a century as New Zealand went from British colony to dominion to independent nation. At times, the Government provided free or assisted passage for British and Irish citizens - the former became known as the "10 Poms" for the small price of the 19,000km voyage to their new home. Other nationalities were also targeted in times of labour shortage - Scandinavians and Germans last century and the Dutch in the 1950s as postwar New Zealand sought to rebuild industries. Unassisted migrants from other northwest European countries, Canada and the United States also had unrestricted access. Officially, it was a traditional-source-country regime based on compatible work skills - effectively it was a white New Zealand policy... Essentially, the policy remained white New Zealand until the 1986 immigration review. An occupational priority list had been introduced before then to target specific skill gaps, but it retained a preference for traditional source countries. As globalisation increased and migrants became better qualified,  that was increasingly seen as racist. [...]

Migration patterns 'whitening'
NZ Herald  09.07.2004  [Abridged]
Britain is again becoming the greatest source of immigrants to New Zealand, a change which is meeting a mixed response. Of all approvals for permanent residence in the last financial year, which ended last week, 20.87 per cent came from Britain. The next highest source was from China, with 12.3 per cent of approvals, then India with 7.8 per cent and South Africa with 6.7 per cent... Immigration Minister Paul Swain said any change to the ethnic make-up of immigrants was not intentional and it would take at least a year to get a clear idea of trends... Asked to comment on the "whitening" of New Zealand's source of immigration, he said: "It's not by design. It is by being much more targeted on the skills that are needed, much more targeted on the job offer and we also want good settlement outcomes."
But Progressives deputy leader Matt Robson said there was an "underlying philosophy" since colonial settlement that somehow it was better for New Zealand's development if there was a larger pool who were of English origin... Mr Robson would not say that his Government's tougher language test was designed to reduce Asian immigration...
National immigration spokesman Wayne Mapp said he believed the latest proportions "reflect balanced immigration". "The reality is New Zealand is proving attractive from a wide variety of countries," said Dr Mapp."I would have thought that was a good thing. You do not want everybody to be coming from one place."...
COMMENT: Mapp conveniently forgets that that is precisely what happened with Pakeha colonization of Aotearoa NZ.

 ITEM 10.  ACCOMMODATION

Landlord supports Maori tenants ban
NZ Herald  21.10.05  [Abridged]
Banning Maori tenants makes good business sense and should be allowed, says a South Waikato landlord. But Race Relations Commissioner Joris de Bres has described the comments by Tokoroa landlord Walter Pellikan as an unhelpful generalisation which ignores other factors. Mr Pellikan was speaking in support of a Tauranga property-owner who is alleged to have banned real estate agents from letting his property to Maori.
Kelly Lovett last week lodged a complaint with the Human Rights Commission after allegedly being told by a First National agent that she could not rent a house because the landlord did not want Maori tenants. The slur has been scorned by many in the rental market who have distanced themselves from such a stance. First National branch owner Rob Hooper said his company no longer managed properties owned by the landlord concerned... Race Relations Commissioner Joris de Bres said it was illegal to discriminate based on race. "No amount of generalisation will change that." Mr De Bres questioned why the landlord had identified race as the consistency in tenants when other factors were as likely to be a cause. "There are hundreds of thousands of Maori who make good tenants."

 ITEM 11.  SOCIO-ECONOMIC

Racial divide runs deep in poverty landscape
NZ Herald Tuesday, September 12 2000 [Abridged]
Poverty - so often represented by damning statistics ranked in black and white lists - is now signposted in red and green landscapes. In the pages of Degrees of Deprivation in New Zealand: An Atlas of Socioeconomic Difference are maps which graphically depict the haves and have-nots of New Zealand society.
The three territories standing out as most deprived are the Far North, Gisborne and Buller. 
The atlas, which uses figures from the 1996 census, was designed for three reasons, says one of the authors, Wellington Medical School senior lecturer Dr Peter Crampton. He says it will help agencies to find out who needs what and be a tool for community groups presenting cases to local authorities as well as for research. "The atlas provides an insight into the way contemporary New Zealand has structured itself - it's not a particularly egalitarian society."
It also highlights the uneven landscape between Pakeha and Maori and Pacific Island peoples.
"These statistics speak volumes for the structural issues being faced by contemporary Maori and Pacific Island communities," says Dr Crampton. "But it's something which belongs to society - not just to Maori or Pacific Islanders, but to all of us because this is the way we've chosen to structure society."

NOTE: Check out RACIST CAPITALISM in AOTEAROA-NZ

COMMENT: See below, proof of "White privilege".
Rich List unearths more fortunes
NZ Herald 02.07.2004 [Abridged]
The Talley family - famous for fish and frozen veges - were listed at just $25 million last year but jump to $160 million this year with the inclusion of their trusts. Despite a new minimum threshold - aspiring entrepreneurs now need to set their sights on $25 million - The Rich List for 2004 is longer than ever... The Babich, Delegat, Giesen, Rose and Marris families all make it on to the list for the first time. The Delegats jump straight in at $65 million... Another winemaker, George Fistonich, jumps from $25 million to $80 million this year. Other new entries include Dunedin's McConnon family with $70 million... Baird McConnon had his low profile blown this year when he partnered Craig Norgate in the takeover deal for Wrightson. Likewise Christchurch's Lester Singleton - listed at $60 million... concrete and masonry family the Stevensons on the list for the first time at $134 million. A change in research method may also explain why real estate family the Bayleys have dropped from $110 million to $70 million despite being described as having had a successful year... Graham Hart - the Herald's pick for 2003 business leader of the year - is the richest individual with $1.4 billion. The richest family remains the Todds with $2.2 billion... Old faces such as Douglas Myers, Michael Fay and David Richwhite... All three are up slightly - Myers to $650 million, Fay and Richwhite to $630 million apiece. The Warehouse founder Stephen Tindall is down from $420 million to $390 million...

Well-heeled need platforms to make rich list
NZ Herald 02.07.2004 [Abridged]
... the National Business Review has raised the bar for this year's list by $10 million, meaning you must have at least $25 million to get a look in. Despite the tougher threshold, the list has grown to 187 individuals and families, after 29 new entries eclipsed 25 who fell off from last year. (One casualty is Auckland City Mayor John Banks, who squeezed into last year's list with an estimated net minimum worth of $16 million.) A $4 billion increase in the combined net worth of those listed this year to more than $22 billion has the compilers gushing about an "explosion" of wealth in what they call a time of exceptional prosperity. Topping the list of individuals for the third year running is food tycoon Graeme Hart, whose estimated worth has grown from $1.2 billion to $1.4 billion. He is more than twice as rich as runner-up Douglas Myers, but the liquor baron has edged $20 million ahead of merchant bankers Sir Michael Fay and David Richwhite to a net worth of $650 million. Fellow liquor baron Michael Erceg has catapulted into fifth place, his estimated worth leaping from $300 million to $580 million. Richest family again by far are the Todds, with their energy resources empire now worth $2.2 billion - $200 million more than last year. New richest woman is Janet Cameron, who launched the Kathmandu brand of outdoor clothing and mountaineering gear... now worth $105 million. Another new entrant is the Stevenson quarrying and building supplies family, worth $134 million. The Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson is valued at $180 million, up from $70 million last year.

UPDATE:  Brothers knock magnates from top of rich list
NZ Herald 22.07.05 [Abridged]


Inside the Todd empire
NZ Herald 27.02.06
Charles Todd, the late founder of the Todd family fortune, left no room for doubt. You were either in or out - there was no in-between... Bloodline control of the $2.6 billion company, whose interests are as diverse as property, telecommunications, and oil and gas exploration and production, is also vested firmly in the family. Direct relatives, who number 160, must make up at least a quarter of the board - currently four of nine directors. They also get to appoint the chairman and set his terms of employment. Current chairman John Todd is not about to apologise for that. In a rare public interview, the 78-year-old grandson of the company's founder, and family patriarch, told The Business that keeping the business in the family was an ethos developed over decades. Among other things, it allowed the family to make long-term decisions... The attitude has clearly done the family no harm. Funding itself entirely from its own coffers, the Todds' impact on the New Zealand economy cannot be underestimated...
The estimated $2.6 billion wealth of the Todd Corporation is likely to be just the tip of the family's wealth...
The Todd Corp annual meeting in Wellington is well attended by beneficiaries who, including newborns, number 160 individuals. It is estimated they each receive an average of $328,000 a year from the company. [...]


Pakeha couples top of the wealth heap
NZ Herald  Sunday September 08, 2002 [Abridged]
Married Pakeha couples are by far the best off people in the country with average assets of almost $370,000, new research shows.


The study reveals a student-debt-burdened younger population hindered in their ability to build wealth until they are well into their 30s, and Maori and Pacific peoples far behind Pakeha and Asian New Zealanders in terms of shoring up wealth for the future.
The Net Worth of New Zealanders report, issued by the Retirement Commission and Statistics New Zealand, uses information collected in the 2001Household Savings Survey. It shows that net worth - all a person's assets minus all their debts -is unevenly distributed across the population. The study ranks the population in 10 bands of wealth. The lowest group are $3.3 billion in debt, the highest has a net worth of $194.5 billion. 
Twenty per cent of the population hold about 60 per cent of the country's wealth. While social factors, including higher unemployment rates, mean Maori and Pacific people have fewer assets, the lower average age of these populations also affects the amount of wealth they can accumulate.
Source: Net Worth of New Zealanders report, Statistics New Zealand. Herald Graphic

Rich steadily getting richer
NZ Herald Wednesday April 04, 2007
More than half of New Zealand's total net worth is now owned by the richest 10 per cent of the population. A new survey by Statistics NZ shows that the distribution of wealth has become even more unequal in 2003-04 than in the previous survey in 2001, when the richest 10 per cent owned only 48 per cent of the country's total wealth. They now own 52 per cent. The richest half of the country owned 93 per cent of the wealth in 2001, and now owns 95 per cent. So the share of the poorest half has dropped from 7 per cent to 5 per cent... the richest 1 per cent of individuals own 16 per cent of the country's wealth, and the richest 5 per cent own 38 per cent of the total... Europeans have by far the highest median net worth ($86,900), followed by Asians ($21,000), others ($19,000), Maori ($18,000) and Pacific people ($6700). [...]

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In the opening of his 1903 classic, The Souls of Black Folk,... Du Bois was identifying a burden that blacks carried -- being seen by the dominant society not as people but as a problem people, as a people who posed a problem for the rest of society. Du Bois was right to identify "the color line" as the problem of the 20th century.
Now, in the 21st century, it is time for whites to... fully acknowledge that in the racial arena, we are the problem... That is the new White People's Burden, to understand that we are the problem...  We should learn to ask ourselves, "How does it feel to be the problem?"       
  [ http://www.alternet.org/story/24745/ ]
Robert Jensen is a professor of journalism at the University of Texas, Austin.


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