Tommy Kapai: Know the rules then it's game on

By Tommy Kapai

They say that rugby is a game of two halves and the results over the last weekend have clearly shown this to be the case. Locally, nationally and in the international arena there have been games played by teams who have started off with a hiss and a roar in the first 40 minutes and then stood silent as a mafia witness in the second.

The same can be said for business and politics when it comes to playing the game.

Many times I have been reading the weekend paper and my mates will ask why I bother reading the business or political pages. To which I reply "it's the same as the pages you're reading. They are all games and once you work out the rules and who the major players are you can 'sometimes' work out the results before they happen."

For example, Kim and Key have been playing a cat 'n' mouse game in the playground called Parliament. The whole saga of 'you said, no I didn't, yes you did, why are you blushing, why are you sweating" between the scarfie with the big puku and the Prime Minister with a penchant for playing games, is a classic example of why I read the political pages.

In one corner of the Big Boys with Big Toys game you have one player who has access to bigger and better toys than his opponent. Like his Maxwell Smart-big brother mate in the GCSB, not to mention his loss of memory mate John Boy Banks. In the other corner is the underdog with an over-inflated ego and a lot of toys on tick, who is fast developing a cult-like status.

Closer to home on the local political scene it is great to hear that the "Cavemen" - Councillors Against Virtually Everything, who get elected because they oppose progress - are about to be challenged by some fresh new faces in the game of Deal or No Deal on Tauranga going forward.

The regional council is also in for some new players with a locally based Tauranga Ticket, standing on common unity, hoping to bring in some much needed new blood to the EBOP board. There are some men and women of mana and leadership waiting in the wings to take up this challenge and if their campaign gets it right they will win where others have failed.

On the Maori political scene Garth George's Saturday column was bang on when he said, "It is much better to have one's nose in the tent, no matter what colour it is, than to be left in the cold with no political clout whatsoever."

In my opinion, Maori are starting to understand the political game and many know that a protest party will not get the gains they are looking for. There is a perception that the game is over for the Maori Party, but I disagree. More and more Maori can see the gains the Maori Party have achieved by staying inside the tent and so far they have stayed silent. This will be more evident at the annual meeting this weekend where we will see a future face of Maori politics that won't be a blame game of two halves called MMP (Mana and Maori Party).

On and off the footy field there have been some great games going on. Dingo Deans could be hopping back across the ditch after going down to the growl of Gatland's Lions. Turns out his son had a hand in Hamilton High's photo-finish victory over Tauranga Boys' on Saturday down on Nicholson Field.

But what turned out to be the greatest game of the weekend for me was down the road from Boys' High at the Tauranga Domain, where Te Puna defeated previously unbeaten Tauranga Sports on their home turf.

Equally rewarding was the return of standout Te Puna player Uenuku Pieta, who has done his time on the sideline. Now we will 'crouch'n hold' to see the stance taken by the board of Tauranga Boys' College, when it comes to the actions of one of its sin-binned staff, Simon Chisholm.

Politics and business are just like rugby. To stay in the game you have to stay onside with the ref, the voters and the shareholders.

Let the games begin.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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