Over the years I have regretted the demise of the "Kiwi way".

There is something special about "calling it as you see it". Having the courage to "dance to the beat of your own drum".

I think we have become too PC. We worry about what others will think if we have a different view to theirs. We become hesitant to say what we feel and believe in. Deknackered comes to mind.

Whereas in the past we would have held definite views, spoken up, challenged and insisted on being heard we have now become content to let things go. Why make waves? It's not that important. Not my business.


Our country wasn't born from wimps. Forebears on all sides had to be resilient.

We make fun of the No 8 wire mentality New Zealanders identified with. Recently I heard it referred to as our biggest blockage to innovation. I would have thought just the opposite.

Because we are isolated sitting at the bottom of the world we had to innovate in all areas especially business. Apply critical thinking. Not overreact, just think in a very Kiwi way.

Even though they are getting few and far between, we still get situations where you see Kiwi common sense and sense of humour come to the fore. All is not lost.

Finding a stranger in your house in the middle of the night preparing to bed down on the couch for a kip is not something you want to experience. It would be frightening for most people. Even if drunk you never know what the reaction will be when the intruder is challenged.

This happened last week to Mangawhai fishing charter skipper Gordon Pryor. He is one cool dude.

He must have children of his own or perhaps he remembers a time from his youth when silly behaviour could have turned bad. Whatever his reasoning he did what few people would do these days. He showed boldness and decided to wait and see.

I couldn't help thinking that if this happened in the United States the intruder's family would have a burial on their hands. They meet all invasions with their trusty hand gun at the ready. Shoot first ask questions later.


Mr Pryor let the young man sleep it off. He discovered he was an engineering student from the University of Canterbury. A nice kid who got lost trying to find his way back to where he was staying after a big day out with friends. Lucky for him it was Mr Pryor's house he stumbled on.

We know young people can do stupid things, let's just hope if they do there is a man like Gordon Pryor around who thinks like the old style Kiwi dad.

Then a few days later up pops a group of young friends holidaying in the Coromandel who showed true "out of the box" thinking on New Year's Eve. There is a Coromandel-wide public places liquor ban in place for the holiday period. The group devised a way to avoid the ban.

They spent the day building a sand island in the Tairua estuary knowing when the tide came in their island would be surrounded by water. International waters insisted the group.

There they were on their island with their picnic table and chilly bin enjoying their beers seeing the old year out and welcoming in 2018. I'm pleased the police never intervened and got heavy handed. These were Kiwi kids being creative.

Sometimes we make a situation worse by how we handle the perceived problem. It's always helpful to get clear on exactly what the problem is in the first place. This will determine the course of action. I would love to see a return to applying the "Kiwi way" in developing solutions. A return to common sense.

Merepeka Raukawa-Tait is a Rotorua district councillor, Lakes District Health Board member and chairs the North Island Whanau Ora Commissioning Agency. She writes, speaks and broadcasts to thwart political correctness.