Unashamed monarchist revels in Queen’s jubilee

I am a monarchist.

It is a reflection of my English heritage, which sits alongside Māoritanga in defining me as a New Zealander.

On my mother’s side I am a first-generation Kiwi. Along with her migrant parents and four sisters, she referred to Britain as ‘home’ until the day she died despite having left the grimy streets of Newcastle as a two-year-old.

My paternal heritage has longer ties with this country, which makes me a third-generation New Zealander. My great-grandfather was Devon born but Canadian-raised and came to New Zealand in the 1870s. His grandfather fought in the American War of Independence – as a British Army scout. My grandmother’s family were from Scotland and Ireland and settled in Central Otago in the 1860s.

I claim no Māori whakapapa, but I recognise that the Treaty of Waitangi binds me to rangatiratanga and tikanga Māori.

I also believe that Māoridom’s partnership with the Crown binds me to my forebears and is a valid and valuable component of my identity as a New Zealander. Continue reading “Unashamed monarchist revels in Queen’s jubilee”

In praise of the unsung

Journalism is a name game of picture by-lines, personal radio sign-offs, and the on-screen presence of television reporters. Yet behind them are legions of people without whom those names would not see the light of day.

They are nameless, as far as the public is concerned, and their efforts seldom if ever get the public recognition they deserve.

This column is for those unnamed heroes and heroines of the news game.

I am writing it because last week a woman named Lauri Tapsell died in Auckland at the age of 70.  That is her pictured above. Continue reading “In praise of the unsung”

Churchillian view of public media’s future

 The New Public Media Entity has turned into a Churchillian quotation, and it is not “their finest hour”.

Following last Thursday’s Budget, the project to replace Television New Zealand and RNZ has become “a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma”.

The Budget told us the project would receive $327 million of Government funding over three years in roughly equal annual instalments. The total appropriation for the “Strong Public Media” project over the next four years is $370 million, meaning $43 million will be used to establish the new entity and for the Ministry for Culture & Heritage to “monitor’ it.

That is a sizeable chunk of money, but the Government does expect some pay-back from the commercial operations of what is now Television New Zealand. It estimates a dividend of $306 million over six years.

And that is where the detail ends. Continue reading “Churchillian view of public media’s future”

As if the killing of Shireen Abu Akleh wasn’t enough…

Nothing justifies the killing of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh and the wounding of her colleague Ali al-Samoudi during an Israeli raid on Jenin in the Occupied West Bank. Nothing.

I believe the renowned reporter died at the hands of Israeli armed forces and that she was deliberately targeted because she was a journalist, easily identified by the word PRESS on the flak jacket and helmet that did not protect her from the shot that killed her. Her wounded colleague was identically dressed.

I am left in no doubt about the culpability of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) on a number of grounds. Continue reading “As if the killing of Shireen Abu Akleh wasn’t enough…”