RUSSELL Bell's letter (February 20) about the Taupo Quay carpark was a wonderful start to my morning, and I was still chuckling as I enjoyed my ReCaffeinator coffee while watching the poor schmucks caught up in this council-inspired, Kafka-esque trial by traffic light.
Until now I've been unable to see the joke, but thanks to Russell I might even deliberately plunge in, just to enjoy the sights and experiences he so helpfully pointed out. Of course, the wonderful National Radio crew would add to the pleasures of waiting, waiting, waiting ...
I'm sure city workshop staff, honouring the ages-old joke of sending new apprentices out for a long weight, now tell them to find an address in the midst of the The Waiting Zone. Then send them back for some striped paint.
But I'll never again fall into the seductive trap of finding an empty angle park when I arrive for my morning brew, choosing instead to enjoy the stroll from a Drews Ave park while enjoying the spectacle of those caught in the carpark and, as always, marvelling at the stupidly high proportion of gas-guzzling four-wheel-drives clogging our streets and blocking views for those trying to safely exit CBD angle parks wherever they exist.
My advice to the carpark regulars would be to equip yourselves with a copy of Kafka's The Trial ("From a certain point onward there is no longer any turning back") to read while waiting, because I'm sure his Joseph K would relate to your bewildering experience; you also should have time to put the parking brake on and dash out for a takeaway coffee to further enhance your long wait.
It was with sadness that I read of the impending departure of our editor, Mark Dawson.
Over the past few years I have developed a great deal of respect for him. Yes, he has declined to publish a few of my letters and edited some to the extent that my main thrust has been avoided. In doing so he has undoubtedly saved me from several court cases and numerous nocturnal visits from aggrieved readers.
Then, on the other hand, he has published some of my missives that even I thought were a bit over the top. I see this as a measure of the integrity of the man, and I hope that we could perhaps share a beer or two at the RSA (oops ... Paris Metro Club) some time in the future.
As a parting gesture, could I reiterate my concerns about proofreading before publication? Errors occur in every edition of the Chron, but today's [February 12] error is a classic. An advertisement concerning a reinforcing business in Castlecliff makes one reference to "steel" and another to "steal". Go on, Mark; publish this as a farewell gesture. (Edited)
Concept of colonisation
Another Waitangi Day has come and gone. When I was at school, it was history. That has all changed.
To get a proper view of history we must examine, in depth, the whole concept of colonisation.
In the first colonisation of Aotearoa, New Zealand, by Polynesians, colonisation is quite a passive word. There are indications of a few strays of other races, but all evidence points to the majority of the earliest arrivals being from the South Pacific. Genetics indicate that these people already had diverse DNA.
So was the colonisation of Aotearoa by the English justified? Or even justifiable? If we read the history written by the colonials, it certainly was. Oh yes, for the sake of the "poor natives". E ki ra? Is that so? I beg to differ. Maori should be grateful? Hell, no!
Yes, there were a few scraps. Our Nga Rauru territory was invaded several times, the last time in 1840 by a powerful inland tribe.
But the survivors always returned home to reclaim the Tuurangawaewae and te Ukaipo. Even when they were warned they would be shot on sight if they returned.
But then they had to go to the Maori Land Court and prove they had not fought against the Queen, just to get a little bit of land to live on.
These were patriotic people who had fought for justice and their human rights. Every inquiry has confirmed this. But most of those "Crown Grants" are now occupied by sheep and cattle with fragmented title and thousands of "absentee landlords". In spite of what is called a Treaty settlement.
It's nothing of the kind. There is still a very long way to go for that to be true.
Send your letters to: The Editor, Whanganui Chronicle, 100 Guyton St, PO Box 433, Whanganui 4500; or email email@example.com