Dr Michael Bassett

Dr Michael Bassett

Newspaper Columns


16/12/07 Keith Holyoake
05/12/07 Roger Douglas's 70th birthday
26/11/07 Announcement
09/10/07 Election Spending
25/09/07 Glad-handing and Time-wasting
15/09/07 Reflections on Helen Clark (PRESS Mainlander)
11/09/07 Time for Road Pricing
28/08/07 Personal Attacks
14/08/07 Parity with Australian Pay
31/07/07 Political Paralysis: France and New Zealand
19/06/07 Robert Muldoon is Back
05/06/07 Polls, Damned Polls
22/05/07 The Strange Death of the New Zealand Economy
08/05/07 Reserve Bank Inquiry
24/04/07 Health Union Extremism
10/04/07 Daylight Saving
27/03/07 The Really Big Issue
13/03/07 The Anti-Police Hysteria
27/02/07 Slowing Down Justice
13/02/07 Political Soft Options
30/01/07 An End to Treaty Historical Claims
16/01/07 Learning from History
19/12/06 Problems of Opposition since 2001
13/12/06 TIM PANKHURST Dominion Post
05/12/06 Nicky Hager and the Hollow Book
21/11/06 Greeks Bearing Gifts
07/11/06 Poor Policing in Auckland
24/10/06 Careless decisions on Auckland's Waterfront
10/10/06 The PC Clobbering Machine
26/09/06 Toxic Politics
12/09/06 Auckland's Robbers' Convention (NZ Herald)
12/09/06 Labour's Political Scandals
29/08/06 Corruption and Party Funding
14/08/06 War in the Middle East
01/08/06 New Zealand's Future?
20/06/06 Our Infrastructural Needs
20/06/06 Leave
06/06/06 Diverting the Public's Attention
23/05/06 New Zealand and Australia
09/05/06 The Maori Seats
11/04/06 Dogs and Priorities
28/03/06 Parliament's Size
14/03/06 Crime and Police priorities
28/02/06 Family Planning and Poverty
14/02/06 The Cartoon Furore
31/01/06 Greater Financial Understanding
03/01/06 Encouraging Economic Literacy

Jacins's Fads and Fancies Under Scrutiny



Jacinda Ardern is discovering that her personal fads and fancies that she didn't own up to during the last election campaign came at a price. She promised to fix child poverty, to improve mental health care, to ramp up new house construction, and to bring home ownership within reach of first home buyers, none of which shows much sign of materialising after her further year in office. Apart from Covid, her attention has really been fastened on things that weren't mentioned during her campaign. Her determination to promote all things Maori, to change the name of the country to Aotearoa; to bestow on all government departments a Maori name; to mix English words with Maori terms ("more mahi", "young rangatahi", "wahine women"), has been much more noticeable since she got her majority. This sudden rush of enthusiasm has people wanting to know her end goal. It seems to be to drive a racial wedge into New Zealand society, introducing a world where people who have less than 100% Pakeha DNA, get promoted or win appointments and promotion over others. Her world dismisses Pakeha history in schools, and puts grievance ahead of the huge number of multi-racial achievements that have made New Zealand famous in the fields of science, art, literature and sport.

Covid chaos has provided an early screen for the promotion of the Prime Minister's fads and fancies. Compulsory Maori wards in local authorities over-rode a host of referenda where the public rejected them. Covid also muted criticism of Nanaia Mahuta's jungle beat, He Puapua, that promises a handful of Maori radicals who at best number a few hundred, equal power in the governance of New Zealand with millions of the rest of us. Mahuta is now threatening to legislate against local authorities who resist her Three Waters proposals. Radical Maori want the right to charge for water and to veto any decisions they don't agree with. The recent Water Services Act expands Maori authority in this area and anticipates the Three Waters which will follow.

Jacinda Ardern eggs it on. But as vaccination rates lift, the public is starting to notice that many of the anti-vaxxers whose reluctance threatens all the rest of us are very similar to the people whose racial advantage Jacinda is promoting. Their recalcitrance over vaccination is forcing the government to waste huge sums of taxpayers' money tracking them down, bribing them and getting them jabbed. Naturally, people are irritated. If Pakeha, Pacific Islanders and Asians can see the sense in vaccination, why are Jacinda's chosen few so blind to its merits? Why do so many of them prefer Brian Tamaki's gobbledygook?

Yes, more than 50% of people who identify as Maori are intent on vaccination. But too much of the Maori underclass is still holding out. They are the same ones who retard Maori achievement across a wide front. In their early lives, illness stalked many of them because they didn't get their childhood inoculations. Statistics show they often lacked stable two parent families, and were disproportionately amongst the children who were school truants. Many left the education phase of their lives without any qualification. With no goal of finding employment, they drifted on to easy welfare, made even easier in recent weeks by social welfare minister Sepuloni abolishing work obligations for those who continue having babies while on a benefit. Some of the work-shy drift into petty crime. And quite a few find their way into gangs, which we now discover are riddled with the same Covid their mates refuse to get vaccinated against. Stories abound that some of the gangs are drug mules in the Waikato and in Northland. Ministers are trying desperately to deflect such stories, knowing that if correct, the public will get even angrier about being locked down because of miscreants. Ministers breathe more easily when judges suppress the names of those charged, and they hover over the Police, hoping they'll remain vague on details about drug offences. Some, like that one-cylinder motor-mouth, Willie Jackson, who made little sense on Q and A even with prompting from outside through earplugs, shout down their interviewers. But they fool few. The rest of the media, meantime, dips into swags of taxpayer cash, and happily suppress information that their Beehive benefactors want kept quiet.

Life is becoming more and more uncomfortable for Jacinda. She has never explained why she thinks it a good idea to divide New Zealand along racial lines. The spotlight is fastening on her preferred racial group but their lack of reciprocity keeps the country locked down for longer. For the rest of us, squeals from Debbie Ngarewa-Packer and John Tamihere about how unfair the health system is to Maori ("systemically racist" they say) are self-evidently silly. Jacinda's favoured few are obviously biting the hand that feeds them, while prolonging lockdown misery for all the rest of us, and threatening jobs.

Once we get vaccination to 90% for the rest of the population, Jacinda might realise that her racist policies are hurting both her and her chosen friends and take her foot off the accelerator? She might even spare a serious thought for child poverty, housing, mental health, or most importantly, the education system that is in dire straits, none of them likely to improve until she changes her priorities.